Overall, Latta schools receive Bs on new report cards

All three Latta schools received overall grades of B on their new A-F report cards.

All three Latta schools received overall grades of B on their first state-issued report cards in three years.

The new report cards, which were released in late February, graded elementary and middle schools across the state in up to four categories: academic achievement, academic growth, English language proficiency and chronic absenteeism. High schools received grades in up to five categories, including graduation rates and opportunities for post-secondary education.

Here’s a breakdown of Latta’s report cards:

• Latta Elementary School received Bs for academic achievement and chronic absenteeism and a C for academic growth. The school did not receive a grade for English language proficiency. Overall grade: B.

• Latta Middle School earned Bs for academic achievement and academic growth and an A for chronic absenteeism. The school was not graded for English language proficiency. Overall grade: B.

• Latta High School earned a B for academic achievement, a D for graduation rates and As for chronic absenteeism and post-secondary opportunities. The school was not graded for English language proficiency. Overall grade: B.

The grades reflected the hard work that Latta’s teachers and students have done, Superintendent Cliff Johnson said Wednesday.

“Just like anything else, there’s always room for improvement,” he said. “But we’ve got good scores, and we’re proud of them.”

Johnson said he thought Latta High’s low grade for graduation rates was an anomaly because students who transfer to Latta from another school district may already be at risk of failing to finish school.

“Sometimes, it’s very difficult to get those students caught up and back on track,” he said. “That may have impacted our score.”

Johnson said students who attend Latta schools for several years have a higher success rate and are more likely to graduate.

Grading schools

The Oklahoma State Department of Education, which issued the report cards, overhauled its accountability system following years of complaints that the old system did not provide an accurate snapshot of how schools were doing. The new system is designed to correct that problem and provide a more detailed picture of school performance.

Johnson said he thought the new system was an improvement over the old one.

“Time will tell, but I think we’re headed in the right direction,” he said. “I think they’re trying to look at factors that impact student success and student learning, and I hope that time will prove that we’re looking at the right things.”

Eric Swanson is the City Hall and general assignment reporter for The Ada News. He spent 15 years working at the Dodge City Daily Globe in Dodge City, Kansas, before joining The Ada News’ staff in 2012.