The state report card held few surprises for Dublin City Schools as the district received the highest rating for the sixth year in a row.

The state report card held few surprises for Dublin City Schools as the district received the highest rating for the sixth year in a row.

As students returned to classrooms Tuesday, the Ohio Department of Education released its 2008-09 report cards, which gave Dublin a rating of excellent with distinction.

"One of the things we're most proud of is that our students are performing at a higher capacity than similar districts," said Superintendent David Axner, who told staff about the rating at the district's convocation last week. "We're proud of our results. We'll be proud for a day, but then you break down the areas that have gone down.

"But overall, we're really pleased when you compare (scores) to similar districts and districts in Franklin County."

The top rating was reached through four measurements instituted by the state, and the district excelled in each.

The district met 30 out of 30 state indicators that measure student performance on state achievement tests as well as attendance and graduation rates.

The district also met all 30 indicators on last year's report card, and Axner said: "We really are hitting all cylinders on that. The district hit all 30 indicators and in 12 of them, we went up."

With 120 points possible on the performance index, which measures the level of student performance, Dublin got 105 points. The district scored 105.1 on the 2007-08 report card.

The district also met the measurement of adequate yearly progress, or AYP, which is used to measure the academic achievements of subgroups in reading and math that were set by No Child Left Behind.

The most recent addition to the state report cards, value added, measures the student progress in reading and math over a year. Dublin City Schools scored "above" the progress expectations set by the state.

While the district scored "above" expected growth on valued added, the report card shows district students scored below expected growth in three areas. Seventh- and eighth-graders scored below expected growth in reading and eighth-graders scored below expected growth in math.

With a growing student population, Axner said report card results could vary.

"One of the things that is making the education of this district difficult is we do have a greater population of students who do not come to Dublin speaking the English language," he said. "It brings on a bigger challenge."

The challenge was seen at Davis Middle School, which slipped from an "excellent with distinction" rating in 2007-08 to "effective" for the 2008-09 report card.

Axner said the district received federal funding to lower class sizes at Davis and work with students having problems.