OHIO (WOIO) - The results are in! Schools acrossed Ohio have been given their yearly report card
Students continue to make strong gains in academic achievement, according to the 2008-2009 report cards results released today by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE).
"Educators continue to help students achieve at higher levels and, in many cases, surpass the rigorous academic standards that have been laid before them," said Deborah S. Delisle, superintendent of public instruction. "More districts have earned a rating of effective or higher on their 2008-2009 report cards than in previous years."
Success in Ohio
The performance index score has increased by more than 26 percent since it was introduced in 1999-2000, from 73.7 to 92.9 this year. This performance index measures the achievement of every student, not just those who score proficient or higher.
More than 85 percent of school districts and almost 72 percent of school buildings received ratings of Effective or higher on this year's report cards. These figures include 116 districts and 215 schools that have earned the Excellent with Distinction designation. The Excellent with Distinction rating is achieved by districts and schools that otherwise would have been rated Excellent based on the other three components of the accountability system, but exceeded the value-added standard for two consecutive years.
Value-added results are calculated for grades four through eight in reading and mathematics, and a composite result also is available for each district and most school buildings. The results show whether a district or school meets, exceeds or is below one year of growth for its students.
"The value-added measure allows districts and schools to demonstrate that their students are making significant improvement even when they have not yet met the proficiency target," said Delisle. "This measure shows progress over time, rather than the single snapshot that test scores provide. Certainly, the value-added measure can serve as an incentive for students who struggle. They can see that their efforts are paying off."
More than 88 percent of Ohio's school districts met or exceeded the value added standard. Beginning this year a district or school may have its rating reduced one designation if it receives a "below expected growth" value added score for three consecutive years. Fourteen districts and 59 schools fell into this group.
"The value added results are extremely encouraging," Delisle said. "Districts and schools across the state are demonstrating that they are helping their students make progress, whether those students require intensive support or are at the top of their class."
The Ohio Achievement Tests (OAT) measure the proficiency level of students in reading and mathematics in grades three through eight, in science and social studies in grades five and eight, and in writing in grades four and seven. In addition to the OATs, the Ohio Graduation Tests (OGT) are administered to tenth-grade students in reading, mathematics, writings, science and social studies.
The number of Performance Indicators met by students statewide increased to 19 this year. Last year, Ohio students met 18 indicators.
Students taking the fourth- and seventh-grade mathematics and fifth-grade science tests posted significant gains this year, as did students taking the OGT. Four of the five tenth-grade OGT tests showed considerable increases in the percentage of proficient students. All five indicators were met for the tenth-grade OGT.
This year, one district has been designated as Academic Emergency. This is the first year Ohio has had a district in Academic Emergency since 2004-2005.
Ohio's graduation rate for 2007-2008 (the most recent year of available data) is 84.2 percent. This reflects a 2 percent decrease in the graduation rate, and only the second decline since 1999.
Results from the eighth-grade reading tests show a 7-percent drop over last year, and statewide the fifth and eighth grades met no indicators.
Through the Ohio Improvement Process (OIP) and Differentiated Accountability Model, Ohio is using the data collected through the accountability system to help schools make informed decisions. The OIP focuses attention on schools most in need. The process assists teachers and administrators, with the help of a State Support Team, examine a variety of aspects of their schools, including what students are taught, how they are taught and ways they are able to demonstrate what they have learned. This approach helps identify problems so solutions can be formulated to address specific needs. Through this process these challenges will hopefully turn to successes.
A Decade of Progress
As a requirement of Senate Bill 55, the first local report cards were released, for accountability purposes, in 1999. During the last decade, state and federal legislation has required the addition of several components to the report card. Each of these pieces helps create a more complete picture of the successes and challenges that face our schools.
Gaps in achievement between groups of students - based on race, poverty, gender, disability and language background - continue to be one of the greatest challenges for both Ohio and the nation. The gap is narrowing in many areas, but much work remains.
The Local Report Cards include data on students' access to a challenging curriculum in high school. Three key measures of access to and success with challenging curriculum are the ACT, Advanced Placement and Post Secondary Enrollment Options. A record number of Ohio students took the ACT in 2009, representing 65 percent of high school graduates. The state's average composite score of 21.7 is the ninth highest in the nation.
"While many of our measures demonstrate overall progress, we must continue to improve our state's education system," Delisle said. "The education reform plan outlined in the 2010-2011 budget creates a foundation on which we can build the future of education in Ohio." This is a moment to celebrate the achievement of our students as well as a time for us to reflect on how best to intensify our efforts to prepare all students to graduate from high school being well prepared for college and a career."