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Great Public Schools Criteria for Oklahoma

Great Public Schools Criteria refers to the seven elements needed for closing the achievement gaps and raising achievement for all students. The seven elements are: (1) readiness to learn, (2) high expectations, (3) quality conditions, (4) qualified staff, (5) accountability, (6) parental involvement, and (7) funding. Read more below about the Great Public Schools Criteria in Oklahoma.

Readiness to Learn

Oklahoma's Early Childhood Four-Year-Old Program offers classroom based pre-kindergarten to four-year-olds in over 80 percent of school districts in the state, on a first-come, first-served basis. Legislation passed in 1998 expanded eligibility from Head Start-eligible to all four-year-olds. In 1980, funds were appropriated by legislation for the education of four-year-olds in public schools. Research by Lazar and others on long-term beneficial effects of early childhood education was a factor. The program is directed toward developmentally appropriate objectives for four-year-olds. In 1998, the legislature expanded the program to all children, not just those in poverty. (ECS)

Districts that choose to provide Prekindergarten are reimbursed through the school funding formula for each child enrolled. The funding amount varies depending on whether schools offer a half-day program or a full-day program. The large majority of participating children are served in public school, but some local districts collaborate with child care centers, Head Start programs and other community-based organizations to provide services. (NIEER) Oklahoma is one of the few states to offer preschool to every four-year-old.

Full-day Kindergarten:

Quality Conditions

Class Size.
Legal Basis: 70 OKL. ST. § 18-113.1. Enacted 1990.

The statute is aimed specifically at grades K-6. The target ratio of students to teacher is to be no more than 20:1.

Current Average Elementary School Class Size: 18.6

School Safety. Oklahoma's anti-bullying statute mandates Oklahoma's Department of Education to disseminate a list of research-based programs appropriate for the prevention of harassment, intimidation, and bullying of students at school to every public school in the state.

Basis: OKLA. STAT. ANN. Tit. 70, § 24-100.3 THROUGH § 24-100.5

The National Indian Education Study (NIES), Part I: NAEP 2005 Performance by American Indian and Alaska Native Students. NIES is a two-part study designed to describe the condition of education for American Indian Alaska Native students in the United States. Part I looks at students' NAEP performance and Part II is a survey of students' educational experiences, those of their teachers, and others in their schools. Part II is due to be released later, this summer.

Current findings include:

National Indian Education Studies (U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 5/23/06)


70 Okl. St. § 3-104.3, § 3-104.4, § 1210.541

Oklahoma rewards and also sanctions districts on the basis of performance. Rewards for districts are non-monetary and are for absolute and improved performance. State sanctions on districts include written warning, offer of technical assistance, a requirement that the district or other entity create and implement a plan for improvement, and the threat of reorganization or state take-over of the school district.

Oklahoma rewards and also sanctions schools on the basis of performance.  Rewards are non-monetary for absolute and improved performance. State sanctions of schools include offer of technical assistance and more funds, a requirement that the school create and implement a plan for improvement, loss of accreditation, reconstitution, closure, and state take-over of the school.

Under Oklahoma's statute, the board of education can intervene in low-performing schools and introduce one of these interventions:

This policy was enacted as part of the state accountability system that was in place prior to the enactment of NCLB and appears to be unrelated to NCLB’s AYP timeline. [70 Okl. St. § 1210.541]

NEA Grant to Close Achievement Gaps

The Oklahoma Education Association plans to use its NEA Grant to Close Achievement Gaps to ensure legislative approval of a Closing the Achievement Gap Professional Development Institute. They also plan to implement their legislative win from the 2006 session by promoting OEA as a resource for training that requires school professional development plans to address competencies and strategies for closing achievement gaps, and will host a closing the gaps forum in fall 2006.