Rocky Fork Enterprise

State report card: preliminary data

District officials expect at least 'excellent' rating

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Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools officials expect to be rated nothing less than excellent, following the recent release of preliminary data by the Ohio Department of Education.

In September, the State Board of Education voted unanimously to release many of the preliminary data elements for the 2011-12 local report cards in spreadsheet format.

Additional report card data for districts and schools will be released later, pending the progress of an investigation by state auditor David Yost into alleged irregularities in the reporting of student attendance by some Ohio districts.

The Gahanna-Jefferson schools met all test indicators; met Value-Added, showing whether students meet the expected one year of growth for students in grades 3-8 in reading and math; and met adequate yearly progress, which is a federally required component that measures achievement of each student subgroup, including racial and ethnic components. Meeting AYP is an improvement from G-J's 2010-11 report card.

The district also exceeded the state's standard for district and high school graduation rates.

"In a review of the state data for all grades and subjects, Gahanna-Jefferson appears to have once again met all of Ohio's academic indicators," said Francis Scruci, G-J superintendent. "To the best of our knowledge, as a district, we have acted appropriately in all our data reporting. I believe in 100-percent community transparency. There will be no data irregularities in Gahanna-Jefferson."

When the state releases the full 2011-12 report card, Scruci said, he anticipates G-J would have no less than an "excellent" designation.

"Meanwhile, our focus is on our own newly identified districtwide goals," he said. "If we -- the staff, students and the community -- commit to these core values, everything else will take care of itself."

Those goals relate to students as learners, school culture, staff as learners, fiscal responsibility, family and community relations and change agents. Details concerning the goals are on the district's website: gahannaschools.org.

G-J public-information officer Michael Straughter said it's uncertain whether the district will keep its "excellent with distinction" rating.

"There's enough in the data that we know we won't drop below excellent," he said. "The data is still preliminary, and there are still several factors that aren't calculated."

Straughter said the district would wait for the end results.

"As it appears now, based on preliminary data, it is continued success and good news for us," he said.

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