(Please note, from our research entitled "A Vote AGAINST State Question 744 is a Vote FOR Oklahoma Public School Students and Taxpayers", how disengenuous the OSDE is here! We have shown that the test results have been dumbed down in order to make them look better!)
BY MEGAN ROLLAND The Oklahoman
Published: January 15, 2010
Oklahoma is lagging other states in funding for education but excelling in assessing students and schools, according to a highly touted report released Thursday by Education Week.
The state raised several notches this year in the "Quality Counts” report, which ranks the nation’s education systems, coming in at 23rd with a C average grade.
In 2008, Oklahoma ranked 26th among states with a C average, and in 2007, it was 28th.
"I am very pleased, and I imagine that we will use some of this in our Race to the Top application,” state schools Superintendent Sandy Garrett said, referring to the federal grant application due Tuesday.
Garrett noted there were areas the state needs to improve.
Financially, Oklahoma’s education system scores among the lowest in the nation, coming in below the national average in per pupil spending.
The report analyzed funding from the 2007 fiscal year and found that Oklahoma’s per-pupil allocation was $8,836, compared to the national average of $10,557.
Oklahoma also allocates a smaller percentage of the state budget to education than 38 other states, the report found.
The state’s testing system — the Oklahoma Core Curriculum Test — ranked ninth in the nation based on the subjects tested in elementary, middle and high schools. The state also received points for holding schools accountable for the scores.
"The state’s standards and assessments were very high, and teacher quality ranked ninth,” Garrett said.
She noted that the evaluation didn’t give adequate credit for the state’s early childhood education system, which in other evaluations has ranked among the highest in the nation.
"They need to readjust and look at the early childhood (education) separately,” Garrett said.