With over 4 million people, Oklahoma has a unique mix of agricultural and city living. From the panhandle to bustling Oklahoma City, The Sooner State has a rich history. Educationally, however, this state is home to a few unsuccessful schools. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks Oklahoma #48 nationally in education.
From test scores to academic progress and college readiness, there are many things to consider when deciding which elementary, middle, and high school is best for your child. Additionally, when it comes to ranking colleges, the primary concern is the graduation rate. As we discuss the schools below, keep in mind that our primary information was drawn from GreatSchools.org. Schools were first ranked by their test score rating, then academic progress, equity, and college preparedness.
Millwood Elementary School
6710 North Martin Luther King Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK, 73111
Located in the Millwood School District in OKC, Millwood Elementary School's students are below average in test scores, student progress, and equity. GreatSchools indicates that students here are beginning behind and continue to fall behind their peers. When tested, students only scored in the 7th percentile for math while the state average is 33%. Reading test scores are 10% and science scores are 14% while the state averages are 34% and 35% respectively.
Suspension rates are also very high at Millwood Elementary. 12% of all students in grades K-5 have been suspended at one point while the state average is only 5%. Additionally, students with disabilities have a much higher percentage of 22% while the state average is only 9%. This could be due to the higher than average student-to-teacher ratio of 19:1. Also, only 35% of teachers have more than 3 years of experience while most schools in the state have 88% of teachers with 3+ years of experience.
However, Millwood Elementary appears to have a positive counselor-to-student ratio of only 299:1 which is much lower than the state average of 405:1.
Marble City Public School
95266 S 4610 Rd, Marble City, OK, 74945
Also coming in below average with test scores, student progress, and equity is Marble City Public School. Marble City is a small town that Niche.com reports as only having 176 people in its population. With only 79 students enrolled at this school, keep in mind that it may have fewer available resources which could lead to its lower ranking. When it comes to test scores, this school's students only score in the 16th percentile for English and the 24th percentile for math, while science scores nearly meet the state average at 33%.
Additionally, Marble City Public School has a high percentage of students marked “chronically absent.” 25% of all students and 29% of students with disabilities fall into this category. State averages are only 19% and 23% respectively. Because this school serves students through 8th grade, Algebra 1 attendance is tracked by GreatSchools. Unfortunately, less than 1% of the students participate in this class while the state average is 11%.
In positive news, the smaller school size allows for a lower student-to-teacher ratio as well as a low counselor-to-student ratio.
Cave Springs Middle School
89660 South 4637 Road, Bunch, OK, 74931
Cave Springs Middle School serves a small population of students in grades 5-8 in the Cave Springs School District. This school has a ranking of 1/10 from GreatSchools on their test scores as they are well below state averages. Students here are only reaching 3% in reading, 9% in math, and 5% in science. These scores indicate that students at Cave Springs Middle School are lagging far behind their peers in the same grade levels.
Suspension rates are also high at the school with 14% of all students facing suspension at one point. Again, the state average is only 5%. Additionally, this school faces achievement gaps as low-income and underserved students are scoring lower on student progress reports. Keep in mind, however, that this school is very small and may be unable to obtain resources available to larger schools. For example, GreatSchools doesn't report Cave Springs Middle School's Algebra 1 attendance, making it unclear if the school can provide education on this subject.
The student-to-teacher ratio is only 9:1 here, however, indicating that teachers can create a more individualized environment. Also, 100% of the teachers have more than 3 years of experience.
Insight School of Oklahoma Middle School
1156 South Douglas Boulevard, Midwest City, OK, 73130
Serving around 165 students in grades 6-8 is Insight School of Oklahoma Middle School. This school receives a low ranking from GreatSchools due to low test scores and below-average student progress. Only 2% of the middle schoolers here participate in Algebra 1 while the state average is 19%. To coincide with the low participation rate, students are only scoring 1% in math on state testing. Additionally, students are only reaching the 3rd percentile in reading and the 16th percentile in science.
To stack onto the low test scores, students with disabilities are scoring even lower numbers. They're also coming in above the state average when it comes to absenteeism. This indicates the school may struggle to adequately serve students in need.
In positive news, however, this school also has a lower student-to-teacher ratio. Teachers with 3 or more years of experience are also meeting the state average.
Milburn High School
200 North 8th Street, Milburn, OK, 73450
Milburn High School ranks low on GreatSchools largely due to its struggle to make sure students are ready for college. Only 70% of students end up graduating after 4 years and AP Course participation is less than 1%, while the state average is 14%. This includes less than 1% in all topics: math, science, and other courses. Additionally, it appears only 8% of students from Milubrn High who graduate end up pursuing an in-state college or vocational program compared to the state average of 39%.
Test scores also indicate that students are behind at this high school. Reading proficiency is at a mere 7% while math and science are even worse, scoring less than 1%. Suspension rates are also above state averages at Milburn High. 12% of all students have been suspended at one point while the state average is only 5%.
Even with low test scores, it's worth noting that absentee numbers are below average, and so is the student-to-teacher ratio. Also, all of the teachers have more than 3 years of experience.
Mason High School
374006 E 1000 Road, Mason, OK, 74859
While college readiness is higher at Mason High School than it is at Milburn, this school still appears to struggle when it comes to adequately preparing and educating its students. The graduation rate is higher here at 89%. However, less than 1% participate in AP courses. The amount of students who pursue an in-state college or vocational program is below the state average as well.
To make matters worse, students are scoring less than 1% in their reading, math, and science proficiency tests. These are the lowest numbers statewide. Absentee rates could play a role in these low test scores. More than 35% of all students were marked absent more than 15 days in recent reports. This is well above the state average of 19%.
Mason High School does have low suspension rates, however. Only 1% have been suspended at one point and students with disabilities have an even smaller number. The student-to-teacher ratio is also below the state average.
Oklahoma State University – Oklahoma City
900 N. Portland Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73107
While there are many public and private colleges and universities in Oklahoma, not all have successful graduation rates. CollegeSimply.com reports that Oklahoma State University's campus in Oklahoma City has the lowest graduation rate in the state. While annual enrollment reaches nearly 4,500 students each year, only a mere 5.7% end up receiving their undergraduate degree. Additionally, students who do graduate are only making an average of $37,800 annually 10 years after graduating.
Choosing the Right Oklahoma School for Your Child
While the schools discussed here are ranked with the lowest test scores in the state according to GreatSchools.org, this doesn't mean everything about them is terrible. Many schools have pros and cons. And, when it comes to deciding what school is best for your student, you'll likely consider many factors such as location, extracurricular programs, class size, and cost. You'll also want to review each school's test scores, academic progress, college preparedness, and graduation rates. Keep in mind that Oklahoma has some of the best schools to choose from as well.
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