Last week, Oklahoma schools held their breath and crossed their fingers as the annual Oklahoma State Report Card was released. This year’s report card ranked districts on their graduation rates, “programs of excellence,” and overall academic achievement. Though it is important that students actually graduate and learn something to make the four years of high school hell worthwhile, I think the report card is missing a lot of information. So here are seven achievements that school districts should really be graded on.
“Severe” weather days
Though the metro experienced 3-4 ice-pocalypses over the past two months, not all schools chose to close to give families enough time to buy milk and bread before their demise. Before they decide, districts usually take into consideration road conditions, student welfare, and Oklahoma’s ability to experience nine seasons in one day. I believe calculating the number of severe weather days used is a good indicator of school quality. For example, the last school I worked for wouldn’t opened if it rained too much the night before. For school personnel who loved to procrastinate as much as the students, I think this school deserved a solid A ranking on this facet.
How well the football team is doing
I know of parents in small town Oklahoma who have up and moved solely to live in a district that has a better football team for their “future Sooner.” Schools need to be rated on their ability to football so parents can make informed decisions for their children’s future based on what is most important in life.
Having stromboli on the school lunch rotation
School lunch stromboli was a hot pocket-sized pastry filled with a ham-like slab of something and a white goo that was probably too syrupy to legally be considered mozzarella cheese. Step aside, pizza bagels and chicken tetrazzini, because stromboli was the best got-dang item on the monthly rotation. If a meat and cheese pocket was so good a vegan is reminiscing about it, then the number of times it appears on the lunch menu should indicate quality of school.
Having a school ghost
With schools being too broke to fund after-school extracurriculars and other activities that keep idle hands from doing the devil’s work, staff are having a difficult time keeping students engaged in productive, skill building activities after the final bell rings. But if a school has a resident ghost, students would be more likely to stay off the streets, as well as develop skills such as problem solving, team building, and possibly exorcisms, as they gather together to save the student body from the ghost of an evil principal who died of unnatural causes in the teacher’s lounge in 1973.
If the students can count back change
The ability to perform trigonometry or calculate the how fast a train a train moves is all fine and dandy. But if students from your school can’t give change at the movie theaters or snow cone stands where they work, I’m judging the entire district.
Having a water tower
If school districts don’t have a water nearby, how will students profess their love on senior prom night, make a statement on graduation, or share their love of pot? Oh, wait. I forgot about social media.
How seriously the take D.A.R.E. programs
The Drug Abuse Resistance Education program is often put on by police officers on desk duty in public schools in an effort to make students aware of the dangers of using and abusing narcotics. Though there is a standard curriculum provided by the D.A.R.E. organization, the instructors the schools bring in may have different teaching methods. For example, my school’s officer was a hard ass who lectured for 25 minutes on how sarcasm is a sin and that he needed to be taken seriously. The officer at my friend’s school, however, showed the class how to roll a joint so they can more easily “spot” them. I’ll let you decide which class deserved an A rating.
Hayley's old high school got a C rating. Follow her on twitter @squirrellygeek