Tulsa superintendent Ballard sends letter home in response to A-F school system grades

TULSA - A day after eight Tulsa schools received an F -- by far the most in Oklahoma -- many in the area remain shocked and confused about the new system's findings.

Tulsa superintendent Keith Ballard even sent a letter home with students Friday defending his school district and calling the A-F system flawed and inaccurate.

Ballard also accused State Superintendent Janet Barresi of manipulating the results.

"It was decided by Barresi well in advance about how many A's, B's, C's, D's and F's there would be and adjustments were made to the formula to insure that outcome," Ballard wrote.


Nathan Hale Junior High Principal Melissa Venable said the previous school year -- her first with the school -- was "a struggle" but sees Hale as moving in the right direction despite an F grade.

"Culture and climate change doesn't happen overnight, but it's happening and I can see it and you can feel it in the tone of the building," she said.

Venable said she accepts the ranking, but contends it's "not us."

Several students at the school also showed frustration with the grade, believing they are receiving a quality education.

"My friends that don't go to this school say that it's a bad school because they heard about the grade on the news," said student Evelyn Mojica. "But I am telling them it's not a bad school because I go here and I have lots of fun just learning."

"It does affect us," said Dayja Jones. "Not just me, but other kids too."

"When I saw it was an F it was devastating," said another.

The State Education Board hasn't said if any action will be taken against the schools with failing grades.

To view how the rest of Tulsa's schools did, CLICK HERE.

To view the complete list of grades, visit the Oklahoma Department of Education (http://bit.ly/athroughf) online.

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