The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District is ranked in the bottom 5 percent of public schools in the state based on standardized test scores.
Out of 611 traditional schools ordered in what’s called the performance index, CH-UH landed in 583rd place, according to preliminary information released by the Ohio Department of Education.
These preliminary rankings measured student performance on all tested subjects in grades three to eight on Ohio’s Achievement Assessments and on the 10th grade Ohio Graduation Test, according to the ODE.
Students at all levels — advanced, accelerated, proficient, basic and limited — are included.
CH-UH Superintendent Douglas Heuer said though the performance index measure has actually improved over the past two years, there are reasons it does not portray the district accurately.
“The Performance Index is calculated from standardized tests administered annually to approximately 60 percent of the district’s students in a limited number of subject areas," Heuer said in an email. "Also, it utilizes a testing instrument which a large body of research indicates is more difficult for minority and economically disadvantaged students to accurately reflect their true level of mastery. Given the demographics of the CH-UH student population, it would be problematic to conclude the PI score or ranking accurately reflects the true quality of education afforded to students in the CH-UH schools. The same comments would apply to any district in Ohio with a similar, disproportionate number of at-risk students."
The report also included how much districts spent on each student. CH-UH Schools spent $18,461 per student in 2011, which is the sixth-highest among traditional school districts in the state.
Nearby districts that ranked below CH-UH include East Cleveland, Cleveland and Euclid. Shaker Heights placed 341st and South Euclid-Lyndhurst landed in the 539th spot. Districts that were among the top 5 percent include Rocky River City Schools, which ranked the highest in Cuyahoga County at third in the state and Solon was fourth. Beachwood City Schools ranked 29th.
Starting in 2012, official rankings will be released every year in accordance with the most recent state budget as an additional way for taxpayers and government to evaluate district performance.
The system that will be used beginning next year is based on measures including the performance index, student performance growth, spending per student and opportunities provided to gifted students.
"Performance index is actually one component of the ," said Dennis Evans, Ohio Department of Education public information officer. "There are other measures on the report card as well."
The performance index scores are different than those on the last report cards because this report used updated state testing data.
Evans stressed that the rankings released so far are preliminary. The final ranking released next year will also incorporate data on the amount of money devoted to classroom instruction and opportunities provided to gifted students.
"Going forward, the ranking will be based on other criteria as well. What we released last week is actually a preview," he said.
Here's how Cleveland Heights-University Heights City Schools compared to other districts nearby.
Performance Index Rank
Expenditures Per Student
Excellent with Distinction