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CH-UH School District Responds to Preliminary Report Card Ratings

Assistant superintendent Jeffery Talbert addressed the good and the bad news in a press release, and indicated how the district could work to improve the ratings.

The Ohio Department of Education gave the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District a “Continuous Improvement” rating on its 2011-2012 report card, according to preliminary data released Wednesday.

The district received the same ranking last year and in the 2009-2010 school year. Out of 26 indicators — measures like how many students scored proficient on a certain state test or attendance rate — 8 were met, compared with 11 in 2009-2010 and 10 in 2010-2011. The performance index, which measures how well students performed on state tests overall, remained virtually unchanged, moving from 87.3 percent last year to 87.7 this year out of 120 total possible points.

The CH-UH School District released a media statement today about the rankings, and said that the scores are "largely consistent with previous years."

However, Superintendent Douglas Heuer indicated during his State of the Schools speech in January that an excellent rating would be within reach on this report card if the district improved its performance index and its value-added measure, which tracks the progress of students in fourth through eighth grades in reading and mathematics over a one-year period.

Preliminary individual school ratings were also released today. Some schools improved, while others remained unchanged or were ranked lower than last year. Here are the results compared with last year:

Boulevard Elementary School: Continuous Improvement, same as previous report card

Canterbury Elementary School: Excellent, moved up from Academic Watch

Cleveland Heights High School: Continuous Improvement, fell from Effective

Fairfax Elementary School: Continuous Improvement, same

Wiley Middle School: Continuous Improvement, fell from Effective

Gearity Professional Development School: Continuous Improvement, same

Monticello Middle School: Effective, moved up from Academic Watch

Noble Elementary School: Continuous Improvement, fell from Effective

Oxford Elementary School: Academic Watch, fell from Continuous Improvement

Roxboro Elementary School: Effective, fell from Excellent With Distinction

Roxboro Middle School: Effective, moved up from Continuous Improvement

Assistant Superintendent Jeffery Talbert explained in a media statement how the district performed at the elementary, middle and high school levels, the improvements and setbacks, and what the plan is for next year. The following information is from that press release:

Cleveland Heights High School

Heights High received a Continuous Improvement rating. Test results from the 2011-2012 school year indicated Cleveland Heights High School fell in two areas, social studies and science, but saw an increase in all overall student scores. This increase translated into an improvement in the Performance Index score by 2.3 points.

“We will continue to focus on increasing the rigor in all of our classes along with aligning our curriculum to the Common Core Standards,” Talbert said. “We are also creating more options for students who did not pass all five portions of the OGT (Ohio Graduation Test), and getting them the help they need to successfully overcome this hurdle.”

Middle Schools

All three of the middle schools scored at least a “Continuous Improvement” level. Roxboro Middle School and Monticello Middle School both jumped up to “Effective.” Most notable, Monticello moved up two ratings, from “Academic Watch” to “Effective.”

“It’s encouraging to see our middle schools improve, but we know we still have work to do,” Talbert said. “This year, we’ll use a new structure to support struggling middle school students’ reading needs. We’ll also provide enrichment opportunities to students who meet and exceed expectations.  We will continue to improve attendance by making our students feel their schools are safe and inviting places.”

Elementary Schools

Roxboro and Canterbury performed the highest of all the elementary buildings.  Canterbury rose from an “Academic Watch” rating to “Excellent.”  Roxboro fell short of perfect by one indicator and increased its performance index to 99.1, an all-time high.

Noble and Oxford show a need for added intervention. The District will work this year to provide professional development opportunities to staff, and additional resources to deal with students’ varying and complex needs.

The District will continue to focus on literacy at the elementary level during the 2012-2013 school year.

“We are encouraged by the results of our end-of-the-year diagnostics in the first and second grade,” Talbert said. “This year, our administrative and teacher teams will work even harder to expand our efforts to meet each student at his or her reading level, and we’ll do this by improving the quantity and quality of reading materials available to teachers and students.”

Reading

  • CH-UH District students in grades four, 10 and 11 met the state reading indicators. The District saw improvement in scores in grades four, five, seven and 10.

Math

  • Students in grades 10 and 11 met the state math indicators. The District saw improvement in grades six, seven, eight and 10.

Science

  • The District saw improvement in grades five and 10.

These results reinforce our belief that we need to align our process and practices to ensure consistency from level to level, building to building and classroom to classroom,” Talbert said. “Achieving and sustaining district wide success is Priority No. 1.”

There are no PDFs of report cards available yet, the format people are used to seeing, but results can be viewed here in an excel spreadsheet.

State district ratings can be viewed and compared with others in Ohio here.

The ODE has been releasing report card information in batches as the state is investigating whether some districts manipulated attendance data and is holding off on releasing final report cards until that investigation is complete. In September, the ODE released preliminary information, including graduation rates.

Margaret Hall October 18, 2012 at 12:12 PM
We went from meeting 11, to 10 and now 8 indicators. Perhaps it is time to review the Superintendent. Playing musical principals has not seemed to be the best of decisions.
Engaged Citizen October 18, 2012 at 03:06 PM
This is very frustrating news to those of us who are considering other options but continue to support the public schools. Seeing the time, money and effort given to the cause undermined by problem children and dis-engaged parents is frustrating. Eliminate sec 8 housing and hold parents to higher standards for attendance, conferences and homework completion. We are tired of dragging the lazy pile behind. Fix it or we leave. Bottom line.
michaelschwartz October 18, 2012 at 06:58 PM
This ranking is simply scandalous. If the Board and the superintendent spent their time on what they should be doing--educating the children, this school system and the city would not be in half the trouble it is in. And what about the Heights school supporters? Where are they in this fiasco? Being simply quiet and hoping it will just go away? Let me clue you all in-- the Heights schools are a disaster and the single reason why home property values continue to drop-- no one in their right minds would send their kids there under the current low expectations/performance standards which apparently are entirely acceptable to Board and teir supporters.
Sam Bell October 18, 2012 at 07:56 PM
We all share your frustration. I believe that you would find that students who have been in the Heights schools for 4 or more years score at levels comparable to those of other, more highly-rated districts. Engaged, motivated students find academic success in our schools and receive educations which prepare them for acceptance and success at top-tier colleges and universities. Yet it is little wonder that if Johnnie enters the system as a tenth grader with second grade reading skills, we are not able to raise him up to a twelveth grade level in time. (However, if he is willing to work at it, we can probably get him to an ninth grade level by graduation.) There is no doubt that better parenting is a strong predictor of academic success. It always has been. As to "eliminating section 8," sorry, you are out of luck. Cities which have tried to do so have found themselves on the losing side in Federal Court. The new Facilities Lay Committee is working diligently to find solutions which will allow and foster more individualized and small-group instruction so that an even greater proportion of our students, no matter their current achievement level, can achieve success. Rather than leaving, please join us at our next meeting, 10/24/12 at Gearity School at 7pm and share your concerns and your constructive suggestions.
Margaret Hall October 18, 2012 at 09:04 PM
I send my kids to Heights schools. If you bothered to actually investigate what is happening in the classrooms you would spend less time slinging baseless insults and more time praising the teachers. The teachers are fantastic, my children have received a world class education and my now college freshman is doing very well. My 11th grader receives college recruiting letters from all over the United States. My 4th grader reads way beyond her grade level. In addition, should you have bothered to check, post recession property values are recovering. I just would like to have the Superintendent to stop losing the Principals we trust.
Michael's Shorts October 19, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Michael Schwartz, that's complete nonsense. These ratings are stacked against a district like ours because they do not adjust for the realities of dealing with a challenging and diverse enrollment. To get so angry and upset over something that is beyond the district's control is ridiculous. Look at the amount of fluctuation in the ratings from year-to-year, even when the district is changing very little in regards to curriculum and instruction. That's indicative of a measurement system that fails to do what it claims to do. It's not an indictment of how well the district is holding up its end of the bargain. Once upon a time, these test results were used to help educators assess how to further the learning of their students. Now the results are used to try to rank and compare schools and districts working with completely different student enrollments. The system was not designed or set up to do that, no matter how much you tweak it or try to pigeonhole it.
michaelschwartz October 23, 2012 at 01:41 AM
LOL! Margaret, why is it that only in the city of cleveland Heights out of 71 other school districts, the state achievement test doesn't matter? Are you aware that most self respecting suburbs use the achievment tests as a recruiting tool for families? And are you aware that the tests actually do accurately measure the 3 r's. So if the CHUH scores an 8 out 24 placing them in the bottom 10 in NE Ohio I guess according to you it really doesn't matter? I guess it does matter though to the thousands who have picked up and left either the city or the schools or both however. Using your logic, maybe the recruiting slogan for the Heights schools should be "Come use the Heights schools which consistently rank in the bottom 10 in the whole state". Whadda you think?

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