As few as three correct responses on Oklahoma state tests can separate those schools receiving an A grade from those receiving an F, says a paper by the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University.
The study, released this month, is based on raw scores on the state’s reading and mathematics tests from 15,000 students in 63 urban schools and science scores for about 4,900 students.
When averaging the scores across all three tests, the study found that about three to six correct responses separated the best schools from the worst, based on the A-F system.
On the math tests, researchers note that some scores from D and F schools topped those from B and C schools.
The study concludes that the system has many flaws, among them that it hides the poor performance of racial-minority and low-income students.
A version of this article appeared in the October 09, 2013 edition of Education Week as Accountability