State report card
'Great chance' possible for highest state score
Upper Arlington City Schools met all 26 indicators on the State Report Card to earn an Excellent rating for the 12th consecutive year, according to preliminary report card results from the Ohio Department of Education.
The district also has a good shot at an Excellent with Distinction rating for the fifth consecutive year, said Missy Gordon, the district's assessment coordinator.
The indicators compare reading, writing, mathematics, social studies and science assessment test scores for students in grades 3-11. Students must achieve a 75 percent or better score on each of the tests to be grades as proficient -- the passing score for the district.
"We absolutely have a great chance to be rated Excellent with Distinction," Gordon said. "Value-added data will not be reported until sometime in August and that is what will determine if we are able to add 'with distinction.' "
The district's performance index is 107.7 on the preliminary results, an increase from last year's 106.8.
The performance index is a weighted average that includes all tested subjects, grades and number of untested students, with the greatest weight given to advanced scores.
"The preliminary data indicates our performance index scores are higher this year than last year, which would suggest that our students made more than a year's growth and thus a favorable value-added result," Gordon said.
Value-added represents the progress students have made since the last school year; with a score of "above" meaning one year of progress or greater has been achieved, according to information from the ODE.
Upper Arlington's Excellent score was upgraded to Excellent with Distinction for the past four years because the district scored "above" in value-added measurements.
Adequate yearly progress (AYP) scores are another story, Gordon said, although the district has met AYP benchmarks on the last two State Report Cards.
"We have a sense about AYP, although we are still cross-checking data," she said. "It looks as if our Limited English Proficient (LEP) students may not have met AYP in reading.
"Our tested LEP population is very small and we are looking closely at the data to determine how long the students who did not score proficient in reading have been in the country and what services they received," she said.
Gordon said most educational experts say it takes three to five years for a student to become proficient in a second language, while others say it could take seven years.
"We will have to interpret these test scores in light of that fact and in conjunction with the results of the Ohio Test of English Language Acquisition, which the (LEP) students also take yearly," she said.
AYP scores measure the progress of specific student subgroups, such as students with disabilities and various ethnic groups.
Gordon said she attributes Upper Arlington's consistently excellent results on the report card to a partnership among students, families and staff.
"Upper Arlington has a wonderful balance of exceptional students, supportive families and an outstanding instructional staff," she said. "The research is pretty clear that those three elements are essential for student achievement."
Final report card data from the Ohio Department of Education is expected to be released in mid-August.
Earlier this year, the ODE announced it will adopt a more rigorous assessment process by the 2014-15 school year and may change the rating process as early as next year's report card.
The current rating system of Excellent with Distinction, Excellent, Effective, Continuous Improvement, Academic Watch and Academic Emergency may be replaced by letter grades from A-plus to F.
The state also announced it will replace AYP with a new measure, called "gap closing," which gives a grade based on how well a school is doing in narrowing gaps in achievement between the various student groups.
More information is available online at odestate.oh.us/.