For the second year since the state began issuing letter grades in its report cards for schools, Hudson City Schools has earned an A. It was the only school district in the county to earn the top grade, and one of only 31 school districts in the state to do so in the evaluations released last week. Even so, Hudson School Superintendent Phil Herman said education is not just about the state’s rating.
"We believe strongly that anything as dynamic as the education of thousands of students, cannot and should not be measured with a single letter grade," Herman said in an email. "With that said, we do want our staff to know that their efforts to provide our students with an excellent education are recognized throughout the State and in Columbus."
He said the district received a congratulatory email Tuesday, Sept. 17 from Paolo DeMaria, State Superintendent of Instruction.
"We are proud of this and the email reiterates that pride," Herman added. "Our pride goes beyond getting an A because we also know how hard our staff and parents work to help our students become excellent human beings. We also know and appreciate our supportive school community.
"Each time we receive our test results, we use the information to help us learn and grow in our instruction. More importantly, we hope that every time we receive a report card, we use it as a reminder that our students are much more than a test score, and we are more than a letter grade."
Most Summit County school districts maintained their overall grades, with Coventry and Manchester improving their scores. Coventry moved from a D to a C and Manchester moved from a C to a B.
Neighboring Nordonia Hills and Twinsburg city schools both earned B grades, and Stow-Munroe Falls, Streetsboro and Woodridge schools all earned C grades. Aurora and Solon schools both earned overall A grades.
No Summit County district received a failing grade, which triggers state involvement. Three — Akron, Barberton and Cuyahoga Falls — earned a D.
Statewide, nearly 80 percent of districts received a C or higher.
Cuyahoga Falls was the only Summit County district to score lower than last year.
"We’ve certainly got to identify the root causes for the disappointing results," Superintendent Todd Nichols said.
His team was just starting to dig into the data, he said, and was encouraged by some of the school-level data. Silver Lake Elementary School earned a B overall. Five out of the nine schools in the district earned an A or a B for closing the achievement gap. But as a district, Cuyahoga Falls earned a D in gap closing.
This is the second year the state has given districts the overall letter grade, which critics argue overly simplifies a year’s worth of student achievement and doesn’t take into account the poverty level of a school’s student population.
Report cards for all school districts and individual school buildings can be found at reportcard.education.ohio.gov. The website also explains in detail what each grading category represents.
Reporter Jennifer Pignolet contributed to this story. April Helms can be reached at 330-541-9423, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @AprilKHelms_RPC