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5 Things You Need to Know About District Report Cards

The state department of education is releasing school district report cards at 10 a.m. today

Understanding the state's school district report cards can be tricky. Here are five tips to ensure you're reading them for what they're worth. This information can be found on the Ohio Department of Education's website.

1. The Ohio Department of Education rates districts based on how well they perform on 26 state indicators. The ratings include:

• excellent with distinction

• excellent

• effective

• continuous improvement

• academic watch and

• academic emergency

2. Districts must meet the state indicators at the same level as or higher than the state requirement in areas such as graduation rate, attendance rate, Ohio Graduation Tests, and third- through eighth-grade achievement.

3. The Performance Index measures student achievement based on how well each grade does on all test subjects in third through eighth grades, and also the 10th-grade standardized graduation tests. The highest score is 120 points.

4. Value-Added measures the progress districts and schools have made with students over the course of a year, even if the students haven't met proficiency standards. This measure helps highlight areas where students need extra attention, and also shows whether districts are improving even if they didn't meet some of the 26 standards.

5. Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) is a federally required component of Ohio’s accountability system. The measurements illustrate achievement gaps between student subgroups, such as racial and ethnic groups, low-income students, students with disabilities, etc.  

Robin Anderson August 24, 2011 at 02:55 PM
From 24/7 Wall Street...http://247wallst.com/2011/08/24/the-states-that-expect-the-least-of-their-students/...The States That Expect the Least of Their Students Posted: August 24, 2011
Misty Pawlin August 24, 2011 at 04:11 PM
Robin, your link wasn't working so I fixed it: http://247wallst.com/2011/08/24/the-states-that-expect-the-least-of-their-students/ From the article: "......As they aimed to meet the ever rising federal education requirements as determined by No Child Left Behind, many states have lowered their standards for what students must know. In fact, most states’ standards are far below what NAEP considers proficient, or even “basic.” So while the statistics may show more students are passing the state’s bar, the numbers misrepresent how well they are being taught and which schools are doing poorly. These lowered expectations ultimately hurt the children. Many students who would not normally be considered proficient at reading or math are assessed as being so. This causes them to be pushed through the educational system without gaining what many regard as a sufficient education to prepare them for later in life....."
Misty Pawlin August 24, 2011 at 04:16 PM
The real question we are left with is, excellent as compared to what? Ask the school board why all the 'basket weaving' type classes exist, and they'll tell you they are there for the students who can't pass 'regular' classes. (Yes, I was told this by a member of the board.) This leaves me to wonder just how equipped these students will be to face life, when instead of learning reading, math and science, they are sewing purses in the shape of guitars - as pictured in the Stow Sentry a few years back!
Chris Bryant August 24, 2011 at 10:22 PM
I think a better question for the State and the underperforming districts, is why aren't the results being used to determine placement the following year. Early on in the inception of the OPT (Ohio Prof. Tests), there was a "4th grade guarantee" which was designed to make sure that all children in the state of Ohio could not pass on to 5th grade without passing the 4th grade reading tests. The children would have 3 separate opportunities to take the test and pass during their fourth grade year and before their 5th grade year. The State introduced the idea and announced that it would be put into place 5 years later, so districts had plenty of time to allocate their energies and resources. As the year came closer and closer, the state buckled and eliminated the guarantee. If you ask me, that was a big mistake. I taught for a number of years, most recently in a district that struggled performance wise, before my son was born (I became a stay at home Dad) and I always said the OPTs aren't that bad, and would allow for so much more growth if every class had kids that had passed the previous year's tests.

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