The results of this year’s annual report cards released today saw, in general, improvements in many areas statewide, according to information from the Ohio Department of Education.
“This year’s report cards show improvement in districts in every corner of the state, at all levels of wealth, large and small, urban, rural and everything in between,” said Paolo DeMaria, superintendent of public instruction. “Each of Ohio’s students can achieve, and the report cards provide us with reasons to celebrate. They also identify areas for improvement, and we’ll use them to drive conversations on how we can better serve Ohio’s 1.7 million students. As we work to implement Ohio’s Strategic Plan for Education, Each Child, Our Future, we’ll continue to build on the improvement momentum we’re seeing.”
Users can find the grades and other data for all schools and districts, including community and other schools, at reportcard.education.ohio.gov.
According to the ODE, statewide highlights include:
• All subgroups of students improved their proficiency rates in English language arts, and nearly all had improvements in math performance;
• The Performance Index increased 2.6 points since 2015-2016, including a slight increase since last year. (This increase is noteworthy considering the fourth- and sixth-grade social studies tests were eliminated, and both had been some of the highest-performing tests);
• The statewide promotion rate for the Third Grade Reading Guarantee is 95 percent, up from 93.9 percent last year;
• Since 2010, the four- and five-year graduation rates have consistently improved — reaching a new high, with 84.1 percent of the class of 2017 graduating in four years and 86.1 percent of the class of 2016 graduating within five years;
• On the Prepared for Success measure, which reflects the classes of 2017 and 2016, Ohio saw 3,087 more students meet at least one measure and more than 4,987 more students meet at least one of the bonus measures when compared to last year’s report card;
• Approximately 44,285 students earned honors diplomas in 2017; and
• Compared to last year, an additional 1,991 students earned industry-recognized credentials, and 9,758 students earned dual enrollment credits.
For the first time, districts and schools earn overall letter grades. The overall grade is calculated by using results in the six components: Achievement, Progress, Gap Closing, Improving At-Risk K-3 Readers (previously known as K-3 Literacy Improvement), Graduation Rate and Prepared for Success. Districts and schools also received A-F grades on each of the six components and most of the individual measures. More than three-quarters of districts in the state received a C or higher, with more than a third receiving a B or higher. Approximately 40 percent of school buildings statewide received a B or higher.
The Hudson City Schools received an overall district grade of A. It received As in Progress, Gap Closing, Graduation Rate, and Prepared for Success, a B for Achievement, and a C for Improving at-risk K-3 Readers.
"Once again, we are very proud of our students and our staff who have dedicated much effort and care into the learning process,” said Doreen Osmun, assistant superintendent. “While we celebrate the product of student learning — which is reflected in this one measure of state report card results — we must always focus on the process of learning. The local report card does not highlight the many amazing things our students do. Our students are engaged the arts, sciences, community service and so much more. Those types of learning experiences would make the state report card much more valuable in providing a picture beyond all of the state testing."
The Cuyahoga Falls City Schools received an overall district grade of C. It received Ds for Achievement and Progress, Bs in Gap Closing and Graduation Rate, a C for Improving at-risk K-3 Readers, and an F for Prepared for Success.
“Comparing Local Report Cards from year-to-year is a challenging endeavor that cannot be adequately achieved without diving into the details and that takes time and a team,” said Superintendent Todd Nichols. “The reason for this is that over the last several years, the tests themselves have changed. With the incorporation of AIR testing the level of difficulty and the use of technology for testing have challenged students in a different way.”
Nichols said that the standards for districts have increased over the past three years.
“These are examples of how the Local Report Cards have been ever-changing and therefore difficult to compare surface-level results from one year to the next,” he said. “Specifically, two areas that seem to fluctuate greatly are Value-Added and Gap Closing. Both areas are fraught with complicated calculations. In Cuyahoga Falls, while Value-Added continues to fluctuate we showed significant improvement in Gap Closing. That said, the analyses consistently suggest that the Local Report Cards continue to be more penalizing for districts with higher rates of economically disadvantaged students.
“It seems that the Local Report Cards may continue to change. Legislators are discussing the abolishment of the overall letter grade after one year of implementation. Also, the candidates for governor have suggested less testing as we move forward. Thus, we would advocate for more consistency, less emphasis on testing, and a more simplified version of the Local Report Cards.”
The Twinsburg City Schools received an overall district grade of B. It received As for Gap Closing and Graduation Rate, Bs in Achievement and Progress, a C in Prepared for Success, and a D for Improving at-risk K-3 Readers.
Superintendent Kathryn Powers commended the district’s staff for its growth in Gap Closing and Achievement, as well as Progress, “although the subgroup of Students with Disabilities continues to have challenges.”
“Results reported on the Local Report Card are data points that provide information about where are students are being successful and where our students have challenges,” Powers said. “As always, we will use these data points to inform classroom instruction so as to provide our students with remediation, intervention and/or acceleration as determined by each student's assessment results. Again, our Quality Profile tells the complete story about a student's educational experience in our school district.”
Powers highlighted several positives with the individual schools:
* Wilcox Primary School earned an A in Achievement because of the schools Attendance indicator.
* Wilcox earned “an overall very respectable grade of B.
* Bissell earned an A in Gap Closing and received a B overall.
* Both Bissell and Wilcox earned a C for their K-3 Literacy ratings. This category, Powers said, “will need to be a continued focus this school year.”
* Dodge maintained its B rating in Achievement and made gains in Gap Closing, earning an A in this category. Dodge also made gains in Overall and Gifted Value Added to A in both of these sub-categories under Progress,
* Dodge earned an overall grade of A.
* R.B. Chamberlin had growth in Achievement with increases in both Performance Index and Indicators Met, increasing the Achievement rating to B. The school also “made tremendous growth in Gap Closing, increasing the rating from F’s in 2017 to A’s in this category for 2018,” Powers said. In addition, RBC “made tremendous growth” in Progress (Value Added) in all four categories, earning an A in Progress in 2018.
* RBC's overall grade was an A.
* Twinsburg High School stayed consistent in its ratings with a slight increase in Indicators Met from a D to a C maintaining a C in Achievement.
* The Graduation Rate at THS for both the 4 and 5 year cohorts remained consistent, scoring As in both subcategories.
* The high school earned an overall grade of B.
The Stow-Munroe Falls City Schools received an overall district grade of C. The district received Cs in Achievement and Improving at-risk K-3 Readers, an F in Progress, a D in Prepared for Success, a B in Gap Closing and an A in Graduation Rate.
“Overall we are pleased with the progress we have made in many areas,” said Superintendent Tom Bratten. “But, I need to be cautious with that statement as we have not had time to figure out some different areas on whether that's because we made progress, because they changed the way that area is calculated, or both. We are also in disagreement with a few areas as well and how they were scored, In most areas, we either improved a letter grade or stayed the same. We went from a ‘D’ to a ‘C’ in Academic Achievement and from an ‘F’ to a ‘B’ in Gap Closing, and our overall grade went from an ‘F’ last year to a ‘C’ this year. We are, however, in disagreement with our scores for Progress and Prepared for Success and feel these may be in error.”
Bratten said the district needs “to now dig into the data.”
“I know the importance some put on this report card, but we have taken the philosophy that these assessments need to be used as a diagnostic tool for us to be able to tell us what we need to be better at and where we need to focus our efforts for our students,” Bratten said. “It in no way even begins to define the whole education that the whole student receives here in the Stow-Munroe Falls City Schools. We don't put a number on our students, nor our employees. It's about so much more than that to us. It's about improving and helping the the whole child to succeed, not just about some rating given to a student on a particular given day. We know we need to continue to improve and we will do that. We have always done that, and that is our goal. We want each student to be able to be empowered to be a self-motivated successful citizen. For us, that's always the goal. Even if we reach all As in every category the state designates, if we don't do this we will not have reached our goal.”
The Nordonia Hills City Schools have an overall district grade of B. It received As for Gap Closing and Graduation Rate, a B for Progress, Cs for Acheivement and Improving at-risk K-3 Readers, and a D for Prepared for Success.
The district was “one of 190 school districts in Ohio to” earn a B, said Superintendent Joe Clark.
“Nordonia’s overall grade point average is exactly the same as last year, making the district one of the highest performing school districts in Summit County,” Clark said. “Nordonia students improved on 10 of the 21 tests given and stayed about the same on 7 more. Also, sixth-grade students were less than a percentage point away from getting indicators in ELA and Math. High school students saw huge gains in English, Biology and Algebra.”
Some of the challenges the district face includes eighth-grade math, Clark said.
“Nordonia’s biggest reductions were in eighth-grade math and English,” he said. “Principal Bryan Seward is working with middle school staff to put the same data analysis processes from NHS into the middle school. Nordonia scored a D in Prepared for Success. This measures things like AP tests taken, AP test scores, ACT scores, college credit plus classes, and so on. Keep in mind the Prepared for Success indicator measures students from the graduating class of 2017, not 2018. We expect this grade will improve on next year’s report card because we have already increased CCP and AP courses for our kids in the 2017-18 school year, and we added even more of those classes for this school year. We will continue to focus on increasing ACT scores.”
Overall, Clark said he felt the district “continues to provide a wonderful education for students and a wonderful value for the community.”
“We are incredibly proud of our staff and students for all of their hard work,” he said. “We recognize we have room to grow, and we accept the challenge to continue improving.”
The Tallmadge City Schools received an overall district grade of C. The district received a C for achievement, a D for progress, a B for Gap Closing, an A for graduation rate, a D for Improving at-risk K-3 Readers, and a D for Prepared for Success.
“The report card continues to be a moving target for us as the state seems to be flying the plane while they write the manual,” said Superintendent Jeff Ferguson. “There were some additional measurements added and passage rates adjusted on many of the assessments. Overall we continue to make progress in most areas. Last year we focused some of our efforts on the Gap Closing measurement. It attempts to measure progress for some of the student sub groups we are asked to monitor in reading, math and graduation rate. Last year we received a F for that indicator and this year it was a ‘B.’ We will continue to use the report card data along with other sources to inform our practice. Along with the District Report Card, we have released our Quality Profile which also highlights many of the areas our community values. It is a celebration of many of our student successes and I hope citizens will be equally proud of our students as we are.”
The Woodridge Local Schools received a district grade of C. It received Ds for Achievement and Prepared for Success, a C for Improving at-risk K-3 Readers, a B in Gap Closing, and As in Progress and Graduation Rate.
Superintendent Walter Davis said that “achievement” is measured by students’ performance at a single point in time and how well those students perform against a standard. “Performance” is measured by how much “gain” or “growth” students make over time.
“In Woodridge, we need to do a much better job on those ‘single point in time’ (achievement) measures,”Davis said. “We did not meet the indicator for achievement because too many of our students scored below the benchmark on those one-time, subject area tests. On the other hand, we hit a homerun with progress. Our students are making great gains, doing better now than they did before. Progress is a measure of learning. We learn when we improve. In education, our goal is to take students from today’s level of understanding — to new heights.”
Davis said the Woodridge High School focuses on the three Es: enrollment, employment or enlistment.
“The state report card measure called ‘prepared for success’ focuses almost exclusively on the college prep pathways with very little or no recognition of workforce or military pathways for students,” Davis said. “Nonetheless, we continue to seek ways to offer more opportunities for our students. Adding additional courses and credentialing programs will only be possible if budgets allow for it.”