Columbus City Schools for the second year received a C rating on its state report card, the highest grade in the district's history.

Columbus City Schools for the second year received a C rating on its state report card, the highest grade in the district's history.

Earlier this week, the state released its report cards, which ranks districts and individual schools. Columbus maintained a "Continuous Improvement" rating, despite meeting only six of 30 state indicators.

The district met state standards on five tests, all at the high school level -- reading, writing, social studies in the 10th grade and reading and writing in the 11th grade.

In addition, the district met the state standard for attendance but not for graduation rate. The graduation rate for the 2006-07, according to the most recent data available, was 70.6 percent. The state standard is 90 percent.

Board of Education president Terry Boyd said overall the report card was an improvement over last year.

Jeff Warner, district spokesman, said the district received its continuous improvement rating based on its performance index (PI) score, a measurement based on tests given in the third through eighth grades and the Ohio Graduation Test.

The district went from 80.5 on last year's report card to 81.7 this year. The district's PI score has increased each year since 2001 and is based on a total possible score of 120.

"The report cards show a very, very modest increase in our effort," Boyd said. "I really see this as a very successful report card."

The PI score is an indicator of how well students in the district improved over the previous year's test scores.

"Our focus is continuous improvement and trying to ensure all students across the board are improving from year to year," Warner said.

Boyd said he and fellow officials will point to the district's improvements while seeking votes for the upcoming combined bond and levy issue that will be on the Nov. 4 ballot.

"When you ask people to invest in services they want to believe their investment will not be wasted, that their investment will be put to good use and we have established a good track record," Boyd said. "Invariably it should help."

Other data shows the district, unlike last year, did not meet all of the "Adequate Yearly Progress" required by the No Child Left Behind Act.

AYP is a federally mandated measure of how well students in 10 subgroups (African American, Asian, economically disadvantaged, etc.) do in reading, math, graduation rate and attendance rate.

Out of a possible 42 AYP results, the district met or had growth in 36 areas.

The district did not meet the standards in three subgroups -- reading for Latinos and math and reading for both limited English proficiency students and individualized education plan (special education) students.

Boyd said the district did not meet all the AYP because of evolving benchmarks and an influx of challenges that the district faces.

"We just received some high school students in our district and they have never gone to school before," Boyd said. "Here are 10th-graders who came in from another country and they have never attended schools before."

Warner reiterated that the district was working to improve and said the PI score showed improvement.

"We still have a lot of ground to cover and a lot of work, but to show steady incremental improvement -- that is our goal across the board," Warner said.

Some of the good news the district received was that students improved on 17 of the 28 tests taken, Warner said.

One of the largest improvements was seen in the fifth-grade science score, which jumped from 39.6 last year to 45.7.

The report card also indicated that students are receiving about a year's worth of growth during the academic calendar.

Last year the students were said to have learned more than a year's worth of material.

Warner said he expects this measurement to vacillate somewhat because of the district's size.

"You can be talking about just a few students here or there that can change that," Warner said.

Dcross@thisweeknews.com