Eye on Education

Most Ohio Urban Schools Would Also Get F’s Under New School Report Card System

marsmet491 / Flickr

Last week we told you that projections show under the new school report cards most charter schools in the state would get F’s.

It turns out the Urban 8 districts would perform just as poorly – if not worse – in many areas.

The new grading system, passed at the end of last year as House Bill 555, replaces the current ranking system, which runs on a scale from “Excellent with Distinction” to “Academic Emergency,” into an A-F scale.

Under the new system, districts will be assessed on a variety of criteria including how students perform on standardized tests, how many students graduate on time, and a measure called value added which looks at how students progress academically from one year to the next.

The state report cards coming out in August 2013 will award schools and districts grades in nine areas. But schools and districts will not get a single overall grade until 2015.

Recent projections from the Ohio Department of Education show that under the new report card rules, none of the major Ohio urban public school districts would meet the criteria to get even a D in the report card measure that focuses on state test passing rates. Almost 80 percent of charters would get an F in that category as well.

The projections also show the Urban 8 districts are not expected to meet minimum state standards for graduation rates. That is to say, none of them are expected to graduate more than 79 percent of students within four years.

The major urban districts aren’t projected to do well on the new Annual Measurable Objectives (or AMOs) section either. AMOs are will basically take the place of the Adequate Yearly Progress component required under the No Child Left Behind Act. None of the state’s Big 8 districts are expected to meet AMO goals, and 74 percent of charter schools are expected to get F’s in this field too.

It’s no surprise that many schools are expected to drop under the new rankings. The Ohio Department of Education estimates that about three-fourths of districts would see a lower state report card grade if their current level of performance continues.

Ohio Department of Education officials and state legislators have said part of the goal of the new report cards is to make the grading system more rigorous.

You can check out the rest of the projections below.


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1366866095 Marianne Lombardo

    Readers – please know that 87 of Ohio’s charter schools are dropout recovery schools and 35 serve primarily children with special education learning needs. Given the challenges of these populations, an alternate accountability system is needed – not to lower standards, but to judge the progress of these school accordingly. For example, a four year graduation rate (four years from the time a student enters ninth grade for the first time) makes little sense when judging a dropout recovery school that, on average, sees students entering at age 16 or 17 with few credits and reading well below grade level. The graduation rate of the schools where these children previously attended are helped by no longer having to count these students in their denominator.

  • duckmonkeyman

    What we are really saying is that a one sized, statistical model for all schools, teachers, and students is flawed. Standards are a two edged sword – they can enforce conformity but also stifle innovation. Assessing standards is fraught with pitfalls including myoptic tests, bias, error, and misuse. Would we judge the effectiveness of all surgeons by measuring patients’ waistlines once a year? Yet we now impose that on teachers. Would a company release a new product without testing? Yet we are rolling out Common Core and PARCC testing nationwide with no trials or study. The insanity must stop or our kids will be paying the price.

  • Mark J. Slutz

    Ms. Lombardo is correct in that some charter schools serve primarily students with very significant needs. But what about the buildings in Youngstown, Cleveland, Akron, etc. which serve a nearly identical demographic? Will they be assessed in a more realistic manner?

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