COLUMBUS (WCMH/AP) — The Ohio Department of Education released information Thursday morning on how school districts performed during the last school year.
The report card data includes rankings for overall student achievement, annual progress and an area called gap closing, which reflects the extent to which students in different ethnic, racial, income and disability groups received an equal education.
Graduation rates are also incorporated in report cards along with literacy progress for struggling readers from kindergarten to third grade and a measure of how well students are prepared to succeed beyond high school.
This is the first year the state is giving letter grades in all six categories.
Columbus City Schools got a failing grade in five of the six categories, including F’s in Achievement, Gap Closing, K-3 Literacy, Progress and Graduation Rate. Only 73.7% of students graduated in four years. More information about the components can be found here.
Columbus City Schools got a D in the Prepared for Success category which looks at how well prepared the district’s students are for all future opportunities, like work or college.
South-Western City Schools also performed poorly on the school report cards, getting failing grades in Progress, Gap Closing, and K-3 Literacy.
“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.”
Under Ohio law, a district that continues to receive failing grades could get taken over by the state.
Right now, there’s a grace period in place that’s giving some of those districts more time to turn things around after new tests were rolled out during the 2014-2015 school year, but according to the Department of Education, that goes away after this next year.
That means, if a district gets a bad grade this year, it’s even more important to make changes that will improve the school. If not, it could be shut down or taken over.