Ohio gives public schools and districts one of six ratings. The state does not award schools letter grades, but the official ratings can be roughly translated as follows:
- Excellent With Distinction = A+
- Excellent = A
- Effective = B
- Continuous Improvement = C
- Academic Watch = D
- Academic Emergency = F
Those grades are based on:
- The percentage of students passing state tests;
- How well students score on state tests;
- For elementary and middle schools, a calculation showing how much progress students made in a particular school year;
- Attendance rates;
- High school graduation rates; and
- Whether or not the school or district meets federal standards. (Those federal standards are called Adequate Yearly Progress and include reading and math test passing rates and test participation, attendance and graduation rates.)
In addition to those grades, Ohio also ranks schools and districts in order of how well they perform on state tests.
What are the consequences of those ratings?
Schools and districts face varying consequences for failing to meet federal standards. But for the 2010-11 school year, there were few consequences tied to traditional public schools’ and districts’ report card ratings. (Charter schools already face sanctions for repeatedly receiving low grades from the state.) The consequences for traditional public schools will change in the coming years with provisions included in the 2011 biennial budget that require the Department of Education to rank schools and reward top performers and apply stricter sanctions to some schools with low grades.
Why were report cards not released on schedule in 2012?
The Ohio Department of Education delayed the release of 2012 school and district report cards while the State Auditor investigates allegations that some schools improperly manipulated student data in order to make their report cards look better.