Local school districts hit hard by tougher state report cards, RV highest with C

The state’s grades for school districts took a mostly-expected plunge for the second year in a row on new state report cards released Thursday.

With state tests changing and with the state raising test score expectations for schools and districts, the days when 75% of schools would receive an A or B are long gone.

Though districts are not necessarily teaching kids any better or worse than a few years ago, grades of C or D are the new standard.

Consider grades for “Performance Index,” a composite of test scores from multiple grades and subjects that the state treats as its catch-all measure of how well students score on the tests. Since the state is not giving schools and districts overall grades during the testing transition, many are looking at “PI” as as a stand-in for an overall grade.

For the 2013-14 school year, the state awarded 37 A grades for Performance index.

This year? Just two.

After giving no F grades on this composite the last two years, the state slapped that failing grade on seven this year, including the Marion City School District.

DistrictAscendingPerform. indexAchievementGap closing
Elgin79.10DF
Marion (Marion)63.51FF
Pleasant86.25DF
Ridgedale74.82DF
River Valley86.99CF

Those harsher grades certainly impacted local districts as you can see in the graph above.

“Ohio has raised expectations for students to reflect what is necessary for them to be successful in college, careers and life. This year’s report cards and the grades we’re seeing reflect a system in transition,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria said. “They reflect new tests, higher achievement targets and more challenging expectations. Improvement is happening, and with time, it will begin to show on the report cards. There are many ways that parents and communities gauge the success and improvement of schools and districts — the report card is one of them. At the same time, we know schools and districts will use these report cards to have discussions about performance and make decisions about instruction and improvement strategies.”

For more details on the new criteria, click here.

You can find a ton more data for all schools and districts, including community and other schools, at reportcard.education.ohio.gov.

For spreadsheets of the district-level and building-level report card data, click here.

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