Reynoldsburg News

State report cards

District hopes to improve on 'excellent' score

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Reynoldsburg schools are on track to be rated excellent again this year on the state report card when official ratings are released, but could also have a shot at excellent with distinction.

Superintendent Steve Dackin said the district scored "above" in the value-added measurement, indicating students achieved more than a year's growth in academic progress.

"We were very pleased by how students performed on value added because we were measured at 'above,' which was something we had not done for the last couple of years," he said. "I always believed that 'met' was a good measurement also, but when you are able to take kids beyond a year's growth in academics, it speaks to the quality of instruction our kids are getting."

The Ohio Department of Education released preliminary results for the report cards last week, but withheld final results because of a continuing investigation statewide of some districts -- including Columbus City Schools -- that manipulated attendance data. Such information can affect overall rating calculations.

The preliminary data released last week do not include final attendance rates, performance indicators, performance index scores or an overall rating for each school district.

School districts received some preliminary report card results in July, but those did not include the value-added measurement.

Dackin said Reynoldsburg schools met all 26 indicators and should receive a performance index score of about 101.3, an improvement over last year's 100.3.

"By every measure that we can calculate, we have a sense of what rating we should get, and with a performance index score over 100 and value added in the 'above' category, it looks like we could be rated excellent with distinction this year," he said.

The performance index is a weighted average that includes all tested subjects and grades plus number of untested students, with the greatest weight given to advanced scores.

Reynoldsburg's high school sophomores achieved more than passing scores on the Ohio Graduation Test (OGT), scoring 91.8 percent in reading and writing, 88.2 percent in math, 83.1 percent in science and 90 percent in social studies, according to the preliminary results.

High school juniors' OGT results were 94.8 percent in reading, 97.3 percent in writing, 93 percent in math, 90.5 percent in science and 92.1 percent in social studies.

Other grades took Ohio Achievement Assessment (OAA) tests. Fourth-graders earned 89.2 percent in reading and 85.9 percent in math; fifth-graders scored 86.7 percent in reading and 84.8 percent in math and sixth-graders scored 86.7 percent in reading, 84.8 percent in math and 86.5 percent in science.

The district's graduation rate for four years was 90.2 percent; the five-year graduation rate was 85.8 percent.

Dackin said adequate yearly progress (AYP) results are still being analyzed, but the data indicate that students with disabilities did not score high enough to meet AYP benchmarks.

"We are not making the kind of progress we need to make in that group," he said. "We had some improvement, but not enough. It remains a critical issue for us and we will continue to make sure we continue intervention efforts for students with disabilities."

The AYP scores measure the success of student groups such as students with disabilities, various ethnic groups and students with limited proficiency in English.

Dackin said he is pleased overall with the report card results.

"In my business, that is what you want to see every year -- excellent results," he said. "But we have to add a caveat, because new standards and new tests next year will be more rigorous and difficult. These results position us better, though, to do well on the new assessments."

The Ohio Department of Education announced earlier this year it will adopt a "more rigorous curriculum and assessments by school year 2014-15."

The state report card could change as early as next year, with the state tossing out the current rating system of excellent with distinction, excellent, effective, continuous improvement, academic watch and academic emergency.

Those ratings will be replaced with letter grades from A-plus to F.

The state will replace AYP with "gap closing," a new measure that gives a grade based on "how well a school is doing in narrowing gaps in achievement" among student groups, stated information on the ODE website.

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