Exciting changes are ahead in the next few years for Dublin City Schools and Ohio's K-12 education system.

Exciting changes are ahead in the next few years for Dublin City Schools and Ohio's K-12 education system.

These changes include a new school district rating system, the implementation of Common Core standards in Math and Language Arts, new state standards in Social Studies and Science, and a new teacher evaluation system to name a few.

All of these new concepts bring with them higher bars of achievement and increased rigor for our students and staff.

Our staff continues to participate in professional development regarding all of these topics. Our district should be well positioned to meet these new requirements.

I would like to focus this article on the new school district rating system coming to all Ohio school districts for the 2013-14 school year.

The Ohio Local Report Card is the rating system the State of Ohio uses to measure the success rate of local school districts.

For years, Ohioans have become accustomed to terms such as "Excellent with Distinction," "Performance Index," and "Adequate Yearly Progress" being used to describe the academic performance of their local school district on the Ohio Local Report Card that is released each fall.

Beginning with the 2013-14 school year, terms such as Excellent with Distinction, Excellent, Effective, etc., will no longer be used. Instead, school districts will receive A, B, C, D or F letter grades on their Ohio Local Report Cards.

This change is mandated by House Bill 555 and was intended to make the report cards easier for parents to understand.

Many of the common terms used in the past will continue to be used as we move to the letter grade system.

There will be six components of the new Ohio Local Report Card. The first four components listed below are part of the current Ohio Local Report Card system. The two additions are the high school graduation rate and the value added subgroups.

Dublin City Schools, and all Ohio districts, will receive letter grades for each of the six components listed below.

* State Standards -- These are the 26 individual standards that currently make up the Ohio Local Report Card.

These include achievement tests, Ohio Graduation Test, attendance rate and graduation rate.

Over the years, these 26 state standards have periodically changed, and additional change is expected in the future.

We already know the Ohio Graduation Test will be replaced with a different assessment for the 2014-15 school year.

* Value Added -- Value-added measures a student's academic progress or growth from the student''s baseline.

* Adequate Yearly Progress -- Known by its acronym AYP, this component of the Ohio Local Report Card sets student achievement standards in reading and math in each of eight measurable subgroups of students in Dublin City Schools.

These include Black non-Hispanic, Asian or Pacific Islander, Economically Disadvantaged, Hispanic, Limited English Proficient, Multi-Racial, Students with Disabilities, and White non-Hispanic.

* Performance Index Score -- The district's Performance Index Score represents the achievement level of all students tested.

* High School Graduation Rate -- While always one of the state standards district's are judged upon, graduation rate will become a more prevalent indicator of success in the letter grade system.

* Value Added Subgroups -- This is a brand new component of the rating system and will measure a student's academic progress or growth from the student's baseline within specific subgroups.

As the new report card rolls out next year, districts will receive a letter grade, A through F, on each of these six components of the rating system and the results will be used to give the district an overall letter grade.

However, we will not receive an overall letter grade for the first time until the 2014-15 school year. As you can see, the letter grade rating system may appear simple on the surface, but there is significant complexity in the details.

The same rating system will apply to individual buildings within Ohio's school districts. We will continue to communicate with you on this topic later this spring and over the summer as we draw closer to the 2013-14 school year.

Dublin City School District Superintendent David Axner submitted the From the Superintendent's Desk column.