Highest report card score still in sight for UA
The Upper Arlington City School District still has a good shot at an "excellent with distinction" rating on this year's state report card, although the state released only preliminary results last week.
The data does not include final attendance rate, performance indicators, performance index scores or an overall rating for each school district.
The state report cards were scheduled to be released Aug. 29 but were delayed because of an investigation into alleged manipulation of attendance data by several districts in Ohio, include Columbus City Schools. Attendance data can affect overall rating calculations.
Missy Gordon, assessment coordinator for Upper Arlington schools, said the information released last week by the Ohio Department of Education confirmed the scores released to school districts in July, with the addition of value-added data.
"We were particularly pleased with our value-added results, which indicated that students grew more than one year during last school year," she said.
The district scored "above" in value-added, meaning students achieved more than one year of academic progress in a year. A score of "met" means students gained one year of progress, while "below" means scores do not indicate a year of academic progress.
Upper Arlington's "excellent" rating has been boosted to "excellent with distinction" for the past four years because the district scored "above" in value-added measurements. The district has been rated "excellent" or "excellent with distinction" for the past 12 consecutive years.
Gordon said the district met all 26 indicators again this year. Based on the results released in July, she said the schools should get a performance index score of about 107.7, an increase over last year's 106.8.
The performance index is a weighted average that includes all tested subjects and grades plus the number of untested students, with the greatest weight given to advanced scores.
The district's four-year graduation rate was 95.8 percent, with the five-year rate at 97.1 percent, according to the preliminary results.
Upper Arlington's Ohio Graduation Test scores were particularly high for high school juniors, who scored 99.6 percent in reading; 99.3 percent in writing and math; 98.2 percent in science; and 98.4 percent in social studies.
High school sophomores who took the OGT scored 98.4 percent in writing, 97.5 percent in math, 94.8 percent in science; and 97.3 percent in social studies.
Grades 3-8 took Ohio Achievement Assessment tests in most subjects. Third-graders earned 93.4 percent in math; fourth-graders earned 93.8 percent in reading and 91.3 percent in math; fifth-graders scored 86.9 in reading and science and 88.1 percent in math.
Sixth-graders scored 97.4 percent and 93.6 percent in reading and math, respectively; seventh-grade scores were 95.6 percent in reading and 94.6 percent in math; and eighth-graders earned 97.5 percent in reading, 97.2 percent in math and 90.8 percent in science.
The adequate yearly progress result was not posted for Upper Arlington, although Gordon said the district has met AYP benchmarks on the last two state report cards.
She said in July that the data showed the district's "very small" number of limited English proficient students may not have met AYP in reading.
She said educational experts say it takes three to five years for a student to become proficient in a second language.
AYP scores measure the progress of specific student groups, such as students with disabilities and various ethnic groups.
Gordon said the district employs intervention efforts wherever necessary.
"Upper Arlington does not target a specific subgroup when we plan interventions," she said. "Rather, we look at any student who is not achieving at grade level and use diagnostic measures to determine their specific needs and provide for those needs.
"Our goal is for every student to be working at or above grade-level expectations," she said.
Earlier this year, the Ohio Department of Education announced it would 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 may be replaced by letter grades from A-plus to F.
AYP would be replaced with a new measure, called "gap closing," which gives a grade based on how well a school is doing in narrowing gaps in achievement among various student groups.
The preliminary report card results for Ohio school districts are posted on the ODE website, education.ohio.gov. Click on "Accountability," then the preliminary report card link.