State superintendent Sandy Garrett released a statement today in response to a recently publicized report criticizing Oklahoma's education system, giving the state's academic achievement an "F."
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce "Leaders and Laggards" report ranked Oklahoma 42nd out of all states and Washington, D.C.
Garrett criticized it for using old data " from 2003 and 2005 " and said it did not take into account recent efforts, including establishing early reading programs and prekindergarten expansion.
While she said the state is below the national average in average ACT scores and certain fourth-grade reading and math assessments, she pointed to lower teacher pay and student expenditures as contributors to challenges in educating Oklahoma students.
"Oklahoma's lack of financial investment relative to the rest of the nation "¦ obviously has a direct impact on its schools' ability to expand innovative programs and educational offerings, modernize facilities and resources, and simply keep up with rising utility and transportation costs," she said. "This negatively impacts their ability to be nationally and internationally competitive."
The report gave the state:
" F's in academic achievement and truth in advertising about student proficiency;
" D's for the academic achievement of low-income and minority students, readiness for postsecondary education and the workforce, and data quality;
" C's for return on investment, rigor of standards, and flexibility in management and policy; and
" one A for policies ensuring incoming teachers are prepared and high school teachers know their subject matter. "Emily Jerman