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Questions You Should Ask

The Profiles: State Report, Profiles: District Report and School Report Cards provide you with information about Oklahoma public schools. Although no single score, ratio or measurement can quantify the academic soundness of a state, district, school or student, this series presents a host of relevant educational statistics. This information can help readers evaluate if the local education system is succeeding, and what areas need the most improvement.

Parental and community involvement have a proven impact on student performance. The Education Oversight Board and Office of Accountability challenge you to learn more about your local schools and find out how you can become more involved in efforts to improve their overall performance. The following items are provided as introductory discussions to start communicating with children, teachers, administrators and school board members regarding a school's performance.

Use the Reports to Guide Individual Research
  • Explore the local teaching and learning processes by visiting the school and asking questions
  • Ask what steps are being taken to improve performance and how you can help
  • Find out what can be done at home to help your child progress in school
  • Develop ideas for how the school can support your teaching efforts at home
  • Be supportive and encouraging to your children about their academic performance
  • Discuss the reasons for testing with your children, encourage them to do their best and review results together
  • Discuss test results and the reports with other parents in you community
  • Share your research and thoughts with local administrators, school board members and teachers

Use the Reports to Guide Community Discussion

The Profiles: State Report, Profiles: District Report and School Report Cards divide information into three major reporting categories including community and environment, education program and process, and student performance. The following is a list of questions whose answers should be of common interest.

Community Characteristics

What efforts does our district make to address community characteristics, such as high percentages of poverty, teen pregnancy and single-parent households, which may affect performance results?

District Educational Process

How does our school compare to others in the Community Group?

How does our school compare to others in the state?

How does the district spend its money compared to other districts serving similar communities?

Does the district's overall performance represent a good return on the community's investment?

Does the district offer a high school curriculum that is both broad (many subject areas) and deep (many courses in each subject area)?

Student Performance

What subject areas repeatedly show unsatisfactory student performance and what efforts are being made to make improvements?

In how many subject areas did our school reach the 70% Performance Benchmark?

What percentage of the student population is being tested?

Other Important Issues

What do the reports reveal about other performance measures within the district, such as dropout rates and average GPA of high school seniors?

Does Advanced Placement and ACT participation and scoring indicate that students are preparing for some type of post-high school education?

Do CareerTech participation and completion rates indicate that students are preparing for some form of post-high school trade or technical work?

What is the student attendance policy? How do absences affect learning and testing outcomes?

How do teacher education, certification and attendance affect student learning?

What programs are being used to keep students in school? Are these programs effective?

What efforts are made by the school to provide a safe, disciplined and drug-free learning environment? Are these efforts effective?