Pickerington Times-Sun

State report card

Pickerington shows improvement in 18 indicators

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The Pickerington Local School District showed improvement in 18 indicator areas according to abbreviated state report card data released last week by the Ohio Department of Education.

Although the Ohio Auditor's Office continues to sort through an investigation of Ohio schools' student attendance data, the department on Sept. 26 released its annual measurement of school districts.

The report cards didn't contain attendance data or overall grades for districts, but showed Pickerington made gains in students' standardized test scores.

"We did very, very well," said Sandy Meigel, district academic adviser. "We were very excited about where we had gone."

The most recent data relates to district performance in the 2011-12 school year. Districts were scored based on graduation rates and standardized test scores by grade and subject.

The report cards also charted district's "adequate yearly progress," a measure of how quickly schools are improving, and "value-added," which rates whether teachers provided students a year's worth of learning during the school year.

PLSD was graded as "excellent with distinction" through the 2010-11 report card, marking the third time in four years it was awarded the state's highest rating.

Although overall grades weren't given for 2011-12, Meigel said, had the same grading system been used, all indications are the district again would have been rated excellent with distinction.

"We improved in 18 of those indicators over the year before, which was phenomenal because we had high scores before," Meigel said.

"We made adequate yearly progress in our subgroups this year and were above (past) value-added," she said.

"In previous years, we would've been 'excellent with distinction.' "

In order to meet state standards, 75 percent of students in grades 3-10 must pass each state proficiency test. Eighty-five percent of students in grades 11 must pass each test to meet the standards, as well.

In 2011-12, 88.8 percent of third-graders passed state proficiency in reading, compared to 87.4 percent in 2010-11.

And 88.5 percent of third-graders also passed math proficiency last year, up from 87.6 percent in 2010-11.

PLSD fourth-graders in 2011-12 had 89.2-percent and 87.1-percent passage rates in reading and math, respectively. In 2010-11, district fourth-graders had a 90.7-percent passage rate in reading proficiency, and 86.6 percent in math.

In 2011-12, 89.3 percent of PLSD fifth-graders passed the reading proficiency test, 84.3 percent passed math and 86.7 percent passed science.

Those scores were up across the board from 2010-11, when fifth-graders passed reading, math and science at 88.8 percent, 79.1 percent and 84.9 percent, respectively.

After achieving passage rates in sixth-grade reading in 2010-11 of 94.6 percent and 88.7 percent, respectively, PLSD sixth-graders scored 96.6 percent passage rates in reading in 2011-12 and 91.9 percent in math.

PLSD seventh-graders in 2011-12 passed reading at a 93-percent rate and math at an 80.4-percent rate. Those were improvements from 2010-11 passage rates 89.2 percent in reading and 79.4 percent in math.

Eighth-grade reading scores dipped slightly from 94.3 percent passage in 2010-11 to 92.8 percent in 2011-12. However, eighth-grade math passage rates increased from 83.2 percent in 2010-11 to 86.6 percent passage in 2011-12.

With respect to the Ohio Graduation Test, 94.1 percent of 10th-graders passed the reading portion of the test in 2011-12, up from 93.6 percent the previous school year.

And, 92.9 percent passed writing, 90.3 percent passed math, 88.1 percent passed science and 90.2 percent passed social studies.

In 2010-11, 10th-grade passage rates were 95.2 percent in writing, 91 percent in math, 85.4 percent in science and 89.7 percent in social studies.

Passage rates for the 11th-grade OGT in 2011-12 were 98 percent in reading, 98 percent in writing, 97.3 percent in math, 95.3 percent in science and 96.5 percent in social studies.

Those scores represented improvements over 2010-11 scores in math (95.5 percent), science (94.1 percent) and social studies (95.8 percent).

Eleventh-graders in 2010-11 slightly outperformed those in 2011-12 in reading (98.1 percent) and writing (98.2 percent).

"We know not only are our children proficient on tests, but we know our children are going up more than in past years," Meigel said.

"Even on the areas were we didn't see an increase, they typically were the same or within one-tenth of a point from last year."

Meigel said the district will use the data to continue to rate what it's doing well and which areas need improvement. On areas where the district already has shown strides over past years, she said, the district will go to individual grade levels and individual school buildings to see what can be tweaked to produce even better results.

"Although we're real pleased with our scores and we're doing good, it's our responsibility to dig deeper and ensure everybody is maximizing their success," Meigel said.

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