Gov. Mary Fallin says criticism from educators of Oklahoma' A-F grading of schools is unproductive and could affect funding for public schools next year.
Fallin spokesman Alex Weintz told the Tulsa World that the criticism cripples Fallin's ability to make the case to the public and to lawmakers that increased funding can help improve schools and student performance.
A state Department of Education spokeswoman says "sniping" over the controversial A-F school grading system needs to stop because parents deserve better.
Spokeswoman Tricia Pemberton's comments came in response to Broken Arrow Superintendent Jarod Mendenhall's recent call for school leaders statewide to move on a vote of "no confidence" in State Superintendent Janet Barresi.
The Oklahoma State Department of Education has confirmed local school leaders' accounts of significant fluctuations in preliminary A-F grades for schools.
Schools had a Monday deadline to request that the state correct or otherwise verify their new school grade cards. On Friday, State Superintendent Janet Barresi said her department needed up to two more weeks before asking the state Board of Education to finalize the report cards and release them publicly.
The Oklahoma State Department of Education says the release of school report cards will be delayed.
The department said Friday that release of the reports that grade schools on an A through F scale will be postponed until after a special meeting of the State Board of Education within the next two weeks. The board had been scheduled to discuss the reports at its meeting on Tuesday.
State Superintendent Janet Barresi says the delay is due to "an abundance of caution" to make sure the grades are accurate.
The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education expect 18,300 students to enroll in the program during the 2014-2015 school year. According to The Oklahoman, that's a 5.2 decrease from the current year's enrollment.
Oklahoma's transition to an A-to-F grading system for its public schools continues to receive criticism. A study from researchers at Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma indicates the new school accountability program also hides poor academic performance by low-income and minority students.
As few as three correct responses on Oklahoma state tests can separate those schools receiving an A grade from those receiving an F under the state's accountability system, according to a paper released by the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University this month that says the system has many flaws, among them that it hides the poor performance of racial minorities and low-income students.
Nearly two dozen Oklahoma State University students are helping excavate the remains of a prehistoric mammoth found near Enid.
The remains were discovered by Access Midstream workers who were installing a high-pressure natural gas line northwest of Enid. The remains are now being moved to a lab on the OSU campus in Stillwater where they're being studied and will be reconstructed.
School teachers and administrators say they're struggling to maintain discipline in the classroom and are asking the Legislature for help with ideas to deal with unruly students.
Several administrators testified Thursday before the Senate Education Committee. Shawnee Republican Sen. Ron Sharp, a retired educator who taught for more than 30 years, says he requested the interim study after hearing from constituents and educators.
Sharp says a lack of student discipline is "one of the most serious problems" facing the state.