State releases district report cards
The Ohio Department of Education recently released Round 1 of “report cards” for the
various school districts in the state. This first stage of the report card provides information on graduation rates and K-3 literacy improvement rates.
Kings always rates highly on state report cards, and earned an “A” this time around. But many school officials are concerned that the report cards do not accurately reflect a district’s performance — mainly due to many families opting out of last spring’s PARCC tests.
“[The Report Cards] don’t give the whole picture,” said Kings Superintendent Tim Ackermann. “The numbers can be misleading to parents. Kings performs well, provides excellent education, and is always looking to improve.”
One area where Kings could improve is graduation rates. Compared to Mason, Lebanon, and Little Miami, Kings recorded the lowest graduation rates (95.3% for Kings, 97.7% for Little Miami, 97.1% for Lebanon, 97% for Mason).
Ackermann said, however, that even these numbers can be misleading. He points to another way to gauge schools, called the “Quality Profile”. It contains financial data, ACT scores, and is in general a better and more holistic review of the district. Many Ohio districts have begun releasing an annual “Quality Profile,” in part to counter some of the information coming from the state.
Another area of the state reports car is “K-3 Literacy.” This score gauges what percentage of children who were performing below grade-level expectations are now at their correct level. Among the four area districts, only data for Kings and Little Miami was available. Kings scored a 67.4%, which the state grades as a “B” while Little Miami Schools scored a 47.8% (“C”).
Ackermann also questioned the “K-3 Literacy” score’s ability to paint an accurate picture.
Nonetheless, he has initiated a new ‘Response to Intervention” system at Kings that involves screening children early to establish a consistent approach to their education. Ackermann said that such an effort will bring more consistency to how Kings teaches its students.
Part 2 of the state report card will be released Feb. 25.
Most school districts anticipated a drop in their performance. Last spring, as political
controversy spiralled around the PARRC tests and many leaders began questioning the need to force students to take so many standardized tests, thousands of Ohio families
simply opted out. Their children did not take the PARCC test.
Ultimately, these students who opted out count as a score of “zero,” toward a district’s average. Some districts such as Sycamore Schools in Blue ASh had as many as 700 students opt out of testing last spring. That’s 700 “zeros” to factor into that district’s
Many Ohio districts are working with state legislature to ensure that those “opt-outs” are removed so that the public does not get a distorted view of their schools’ performance.
Adding to the confusion is the fact that PARCC tests are now officially gone. Ohio Governor John Kasich approved dropping the PARCC after just one year. Instead, this year Ohio students will take the American Institute of Research (AIR) test. These new AIR assessments, according to politicians, will result in a reduced amount of testing and test preparation.
See the links below for specific report card results for local school districts.