State of Oklahoma
House of Representatives
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Rep. Richard Morrissette, District 92
Rep. Morrissette Has Huge Problem with A to F School Grading Idea
OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Richard Morrissette said today there are major problems with the A-F Grading system for public schools rolled out by the Oklahoma Department of Education and that the issues need to be corrected before the grading system causes serious damage to the public education system.
“The political leadership in both parties knows there is a huge problem with the roll out of state school ratings, and it’s time for the governor and legislative leadership to intervene in this bizarre process before irreparable damage is done,” said Morrissette, D-Oklahoma City.
The veteran Oklahoma City lawmaker says Republican leaders need to be speaking publicly about the problems relating to State Superintendent Janet Barresi’s roll out of the state’s new school grading system.
“In recent days, I’ve seen a great deal of concern expressed in news stories and editorials about the questionable and partisan manner in which the implementation of the grading system is being conducted,” said Morrissette. “My Republican friends have the same reservations, but too few are speaking out. It’s time for the legislative leadership to express publicly what they are saying privately about the questionable manner in which the process is being conducted.”
According to news reports, the state department’s preliminary grade calculations have been vague and error-filled, while the inadequate staff at the department has been slow to provide supporting data and clarifications. A ‘tool-kit’ sent to schools to provide guidelines and ‘scoring’ information was a failure, and communication between schools and the state department of education is worsening.
Rep. Morrissette says one aspect of the roll out is especially objectionable: the secretive manner in which the scoring roll out is being prepared. “The ineptitude is one thing, but the lack of transparency is something that should give pause to any Oklahoman, regardless of party affiliation. I hope Republicans will join me in demanding complete transparency in this most important effort.”
“I believe that every legislator wants to make Oklahoma’s education system the finest in the nation. But a vindictive roll out designed to place public education in a bad light could harm our state’s economic development efforts and make our military bases more vulnerable in any upcoming BRAC hearings. Now is not the time to look the other way just to maintain the appearance of Republican unity,” the Representative says.