Profile goes beyond report cards


Alexa Murray

A. Murray

Often the full experience of attending school in a certain district cannot be communicated by a state report card, letter grades, or vague terms like “excellent” or “improving.”

After all, report cards are data. And while valuable, data does not reflect the bigger picture.

That’s why Kings Local Schools has joined a growing movement to publish an annual document that attempts to give taxpayers a more complete portrait of life at Kings – or at Mason, or Sycamore, or a number of local districts that have joined the effort.

The report is called a “Quality Profile,” and early this month districts throughout Ohio published their own, including Kings.

In the past, Ohio used a system of ratings that included “excellent with distinction,” “excellent” “continuous improvement” and “academic emergency,” ratings used in compliance with the federal law No Child Left Behind.

Then in May, 2012 Ohio switched to a “report card” method, in which districts and schools are given grades ranging from A to F in the seven categories of “achievement,” “gap-closing” “K-3 literacy” “financial data,” “progress,” “graduation rate” and “level of college or career readiness”. These are determined by the standardized testing that also ties into school funding.

However, after growing dissent over the practice of judging schools and students solely on test scores, in 2012 a coalition of 10 southwest Ohio school districts came together with the help of the Alliance for High Quality Education to form a more “holistic supplement” for the report cards.

In comparison with previous efforts, the profile proves advantageous, said Kings Local Superintendent Tim Spinner,

“It gives us a platform to highlight the many other opportunities we provide our students in addition to academics such as extracurricular activities,” he said.

Introduced to the district by previous Superintendent Valerie Browning, the first Kings Quality profile was masonqpreleased last year, and the latest one came out just a couple weeks ago.

Kings Public Relations Coordinator Dawn Gould, who compiled the data into the profile, said that “the profile is a team project. We gather data from all schools, Curriculum Department, Special Education, EMIS, Treasurer’s Office, and Athletics, as well as student accomplishments from the past year.”

The coordination across departments reflects the breadth of information that the profile brings together. The categories of academics, arts, commitment to improvement, digital learning, fiscal stewardship, parent and community involvement, staff leadership, student leadership and activities, and student student services comprise the profile.

According to Gould, the value of the profile lies in that “it demonstrates the value of public education beyond state test scores. It gives Kings a platform to give our community and parents a better glimpse of the things that make Kings Schools an excellent place for education, not just test scores,” she said.

“It is an opportunity to share with our public and community at large that there is significantly more to our school district than what is simply reported in the state’s report card.”

A popular option, the profile has now been adopted by over 60 Ohio districts.

Still, Spinner said a report can never really capture the feel of a school district’s culture.

“Although it provides a more thorough report, the Quality Profile is still only a snapshot of everything we have to offer our students in Kings,” he said.

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