Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

March 27, 2014

PLAC guest discusses A-F school assessments

TAHLEQUAH — Kris King, lead organizer for Voices Organized In Civic Engagement Action, spoke to teachers, administrators and parents from throughout the county during a meeting Wednesday night to discuss Oklahoma’s A-F public school performance assessment system.

The Cherokee County Parent Legislative Action Committee sponsored the forum at the Indian Capital Technology Center.

VOICE is conducting presentations around Oklahoma to get input from educators and parents about the attributes a high-performing school should possess, and how schools can be effectively assessed by the state.

“We are trying to create a conversation between parents, educators and community members,” King said. “Teachers and administrators live this [grading system] and they don’t have the space to tell the story to parents. Parent can really do something about it if they know.”

King said many have inquired about a possible solution to the grading system, but that VOICE could not produce any “magic” panacea.

“Public school is supposed to be about what the public believes to be the common good,” she said. “We need to talk about this and try to imagine how it could be different. We don’t need another group that thinks it has all the answers. We need conversation to learn what will work for our communities.”

Though there is dissatisfaction with the current state assessment, King said there needs to be a system of accountability in public education.

“However, it needs to make sense and it needs to be fair,” she said. “It shouldn’t put all of the eggs into the one basket of testing.”

During her presentation, King said a public school student could take up to 46 assessment tests between first grade and a diploma.

Penalties for failure can be stiff. Beginning this spring, third-graders who do not test at a third-grade reading level cannot advance to fourth grade.

Eighth-graders who fail assessments can be prevented from getting a drivers license. High school graduates do not receive their diplomas if they fail four of seven subjects on end-of-instruction tests.

Under the A-F system, Oklahoma City Public Schools went from one failing school to 39. Tulsa Public Schools went from eight to 36.

“The school in my neighborhood went from a C to an F in one year, even though they have community support and great programs,” King said.

King said VOICE became interested in education issues when studying the state’s incarceration rate.

“A private prison company referred to Oklahoma as an ‘opportunity state,’ which should alarm us all,” she said.

Schools seemed the natural ally to turn to, and they are. But we found teachers and administrators overwhelmed by the demands and expectations of testing at the expense of teaching and learning.”

Lisa Presley, superintendent of Tahlequah Public Schools, and Billie Jordan, Keys Public Schools superintendent, were in attendance.

“It is great that other people are hearing what teachers and administrators have been hearing for some time,” Jordan said. “A community group is getting the word out and parents are seeing what we see.”

On June 8, VOICE will hold an “accountability session” with candidates for Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction, where suggestions from teachers and parents will be presented.

The session is at 3 p.m. in the Henry K. Freede Wellness and Activity Center on the Oklahoma City University campus.

VOICE is a coalition of 28 schools, congregations and nonprofit organizations in the Oklahoma City area. For information about VOICE, visit voiceOKC.org.


Text Only
Local News
  • rf-poker-run-main.jpg Poker run

    Fundraiser was in the cards for local philanthropic group

    It was perfect weather, with temperatures in the high 80s Saturday, as boaters filled their vessels with friends for a fun afternoon on Lake Tenkiller. A crowd gathered at Cookson Bend Marina, and folks lined up to support a local charity event.
    As fundraisers go, the Beta Sigma Phi Mu Omega Poker Run last Saturday could be considered huge success, as nearly $9,000 was collected.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • bilbrey-anthony.jpg Man arrested for blackmailing woman for sex

    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies put a man behind bars Monday night after he allegedly tried to blackmail a woman by threatening to post nude photos of her on the Internet if she did not meet him for sex.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Peach_photo_2.jpg Peach crop lean, but fruit still available

    Summer is all about peaches in Porter – especially at Livesay Orchard.
    The Livesay Orchard is still busy a week after Porter’s annual peach festival. The orchard’s crop this year was cut in half from what had previously been expected, according to Kent Livesay, one of the owners of the orchard.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • jackson-jaymee.jpg Tot’s injuries prompt abuse charges for two local residents

    A Tahlequah couple was formally charged Tuesday with child neglect and child abuse after an 18-month-old girl was found with a number of injuries.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • proctor-micah.jpg Pair accused of threatening man

    Two men behind bars at the Cherokee County Detention Center are accused of wielding a knife and gun and assaulting a man at a trailer park on West Keetoowah Sunday afternoon.
    Tahlequah Officer Reed Felts spoke with Reinaldo Flores, who told officers he heard a knock on his door and went to answer it.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Reach Higher an innovative approach to college

    The “Reach Higher” degree completion program is helping many Oklahoma students go back to school without drastically changing their lives.
    “This program is designed for working adults,” said Tim McElroy, program coordinator at the NSU- Muskogee campus.

    July 30, 2014

  • City attorney, others questioned chamber use of tourism tax

    Letters written in 2006 by City Attorney Park Medearis to former city councilor and Tahlequah Area Tourism Council board member Jack Spears suggest money from a hotel-motel tax could be disbursed through an agent other than the Chamber of Commerce, without voter approval.

    July 30, 2014

  • Hulbert council discusses Internet service

    During a meeting Tuesday night, members of the Hulbert Town Council discussed the possibility of Lake Region Electric Cooperative’s extending its cable and Internet service.

    July 30, 2014

  • ts-marching-MAIN.jpg Marching in step

    Tahlequah High School Orange Express Marching Band kicks off 2014 season with summer drills.

    The Tahlequah High School Orange Express Marching Band has added 30-35 freshmen to its roster this year, and drills began for the newest members last Thursday.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • studie-roberta.jpg Woman accused of stealing cash, taking it to casino

    A 35-year-old Tahlequah woman is free on bond after she allegedly took $1,200 from a man who had been jailed for old warrants.
    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies said they spoke with Jason Jones last week after Jones was arrested by park rangers for the outstanding warrants. Jones said he came to Oklahoma to see family, and when he was arrested, he left his wallet and cash with one of his daughters.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo


Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways