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LPS Superintendent Speaks on District Grade

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LAWTON Okla_ The superintendent of Lawton Public Schools said he wasn't surprised by the individual site scores they got on their report card Wednesday from the Oklahoma State Department, but he was surprised by their district grade, which was a 'C'.

The district later went back to look at the scores and realized that the district scores had been taken down by the State Department. Lawton Public Schools Superintendent Tom Deighan was very frustrated by receiving that grade and then having it taken away. The State Department removed all the district's grades and it is unclear why.

"If you've received a report card that had been changed 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 times, it creates a concern for you," Deighan said. "That's what we're looking at as a school district."

Deighan said he's not shocked that the State Department pulled the grades, because they've changed site grades numerous times in the past.

"It's disappointing," Deighan said. "When we do our calculations, we come up with, ‘We're not sure.' They're counting everything, and that must be one of the reasons they pulled it."

There were also two schools in the district that appeared on the list that should not have been factored into the district's score, because they are Pre-K schools. Deighan said they are unsure if they were factored into the C grade.

"It's hard to have a lot of faith in this report card with all the problems they've had, changing the grades multiple times," Deighan said. "Also, qualified researchers have said the A-F system is flawed."

The formula used to determine the grades has drawn fierce criticism from superintendents across the state. Deighan said a report done by the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University has identified the problems with the A-F system.

"It has given recommendations to make it a more fair and equitable system where it doesn't discriminate school districts with high poverty students, minority population, etc," Deighan said.

He said overall, their scores seem to be about the same as last year, with some going up and some going down.

"One letter can never sum up an entire district or an entire school site," Deighan said. "One letter can not define all the students, parents, teachers and community efforts."

According to an education department memo, the district's grades should be re-posted in two or three days. If you want to see your school's grade click here.

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