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Despite rise in scores, OKC public school students lag behind other districts



Achievement results presented at the Oklahoma City Public Schools board meeting Monday suggested while district schools are doing better on some fronts, there's still room for improvement.

Compared to previous state Criterion-Referenced Tests, Oklahoma City students' reading scores improved in all grades three through eight. The same went for math, through seventh grade, according to George Kimball, OKCPS director of planning, research and evaluation.

End of Instruction tests, which cover algebra I and English II among high school students, also showed gains.

However, compared to state averages, "We still score lower than the rest of the state, including our urban neighbors," Kimball said.

OKCPS made No Child Left Behind's Adequate Yearly Progress requirements, which are based on reading and math scores, for the first time this year.

Nevertheless, reading scores were still below target last spring, Kimball said. Because reading performance improved significantly, the district still passed the progress requirement. Math scores, he noted, surpassed the target.

The district will have to make AYP next year as well to be removed from a "needs improvement" list.
Kimball said the divide between performance of the district's white, black and Hispanic students has narrowed in general. However, that did not hold true for the performance of black third-grade students over time.

"We need to look at something and do something about that," board member Thelma R. Parks said.

Superintendent John Porter said programs are in the works to provide support and resources to schools where subgroups aren't performing as well. "Emily Jerman

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