Licking County News

Licking Heights report card

Wagner: Results good, but district has work to do

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Licking Heights Superintendent Philip Wagner said overall, he was pleased with the district's state report card results, but there's still work to be done.

"We're still trying to work through all the data," Wagner said.

Unlike previous years, the Ohio Department of Education issued letter grades for dozens of individual criteria, creating what state officials said is a more accurate barometer of the effectiveness of a district's education relative to individual students. Districts will not receive overall letter grades, however, until 2015.

The new report cards also have more value-added categories.

Licking Heights met 23 of the state's 24 performance indicators for an A grade.

According to the ODE, these indicators show how many students have a minimum, or proficient, level of knowledge.

These indicators are not new to Ohio students or teachers. They are based on a series of 24 state tests that measure the level of achievement for each student in a grade and subject. For each test, at least 75 percent of students are required to score "proficient" or better to get credit for the corresponding indicator. That is commonly called "meeting" the indicator.

Licking Heights received a B for its performance index of 98.5.

The performance index measures the annual achievement of every student, not just whether or not they reach "proficient."

Schools receive points for every student's level of achievement. The higher the student's level, the more points the school applies towards its index.

The A to F grades on the report card is determined by the number of indicators met out of the total possible indicators. The letter grade for the performance index is calculated by dividing the number of points earned by a school or district divided by the total possible number of points (120). Licking Heights accrued 98.5 points, a percentage of 82.1 percent, or a B.

Licking Heights received A's for its overall value-added measurement and value-added measurement for gifted students.

The district received C's for the value-added measurements of disabled and lowest 20 students.

The value-added measurement highlights the importance of providing the curriculum and instruction that will help all students to progress academically each year.

Value-added grades are based on a scale that measures a value-added index. This is the same value-added index that has been used for report card purposes since Ohio adopted them in 2007. A range of minus-1 to to plus-1 represents "one year of growth in one year" and is given a C grade. Two years of growth in one year earns an A.

Licking Heights received a D in annual measurable objectives, which, Wagner said, is similar to adequate yearly progress in the old report card formats.

According to the ODE, the objectives measure the academic performance of specific groups of students, such as racial and demographic groups. Each of these groups is compared against the collective performance of all students in Ohio.

A school or district cannot get an A on this measure if one of its groups is not reaching the goal set for all students. The objectives measure10 student groups in reading, math and graduation rate and assign a grade for efforts to close achievement gaps in all groups.

Wagner said the value-added measurement is about individual students' academic growth, while annual measurable objectives determine the academic progress of specific groups.

He said one of the difficulties in achieving a higher AMO grade is that the district would need to single out various subgroups.

Finally, Licking Heights received an A in graduation rate with 93.3 percent of students graduating in four years.

"I'm overall pleased with the results, but there's work to be done," Wagner said.

He believes the latest results are close to last year's results, which earned the district an Excellent with Distinction rating.

Wagner said last year the district struggled financially and was forced to focus more on its budget than its academics.

This year, however, the district is not struggling financially and can focus all its efforts on educating students, he said.

For the full report card, visit reportcard.education.ohio.gov.

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