- Oklahoma should be commended for putting significant thought and effort into its ESSA plan. The state has sought to make itself a leader by trying new accountability measures that other states have not yet implemented, with the aim of developing a system that holds schools accountable for the performance of all students.
- Oklahoma’s streamlined accountability system is clear and easy for stakeholders to understand. The state uses an A-F school-rating system and incorporates its schools in need of support into that same system.
- Notably, the state includes science and a college- and career-ready indicator in its accountability system. This signals that Oklahoma is considering the critical importance of a well-rounded education for all students.
- Oklahoma also has a strong system in place for supporting schools. The state has a promising focus on evidence-based intervention policies and a comprehensive and thoughtful plan in place to put them into action.
- Lastly, the state did a commendable job of incorporating both local and national expertise and best practices into this plan. The commitment to stakeholder engagement and continuous improvement throughout the process of developing the state plan is clear and laudable.
- The overall uncertainty and lack of detail in Oklahoma’s plan makes it difficult to tell how attainable its long-term goals are.
- Oklahoma does not provide academic achievement targets because it is waiting on baseline data from the state’s new assessment, which will not be available until the end of the 2017-18 academic year.
- Similarly, it has not yet settled on a definition for how it will measure achievement in its accountability system, or how low-performing schools will demonstrate sufficient progress to exit improvement status.
- While the state’s system for identifying schools is clear, the bar appears to be set very low for schools to show improvement, and schools where many students are not being served well may not receive the support necessary to sustain improvements after a short period of time.
- Oklahoma plans to assign students to only one subgroup, even if they might qualify for additional groups, which raises concerns that some students will not be well represented in Oklahoma’s accountability system.
- Oklahoma’s proposed penalty for schools failing to meet the participation rate requirement does not provide a sufficient incentive for schools to ensure all students, especially historically low-performing subgroups of students, participate in state assessments.