Upper Arlington News

UA is 'excellent with distinction'

Final ODE report confirms district earns top rating

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Upper Arlington City Schools are now officially rated excellent with distinction on the state report card.

The state released official report card results for the 2011-2012 school year Feb. 27, confirming most districts' preliminary report card results.

The report cards were scheduled to be released in August 2012, but were delayed by an investigation by the Ohio Auditor's Office into "scrubbing" by nine districts who allegedly changed attendance data to improve their report card results.

This is the last time the Ohio Department of Education will use the current rating system for school districts. Next year's report cards will begin a transition into an A-F rating system.

Upper Arlington met 26 of 26 state indicators and earned a Performance Index score of 107.4, an improvement over last year's 106.8.

The district scored "above" in the value-added category, meaning students achieved more than one year of progress in an academic year. A score of "met" means students gained one year of academic progress in a year while "below" means scores did not indicate a year of academic progress.

Upper Arlington schools have been rated excellent or excellent with distinction for the past 12 consecutive years.

"The fact we are excellent with distinction and have achieved the highest rating for the past 12 consecutive years is outstanding," Superintendent Jeff Weaver said.

Individual building ratings in Upper Arlington were also stellar, with Barrington, Greensview, Tremont and Windermere elementary schools rated excellent with distinction, along with Hastings Middle School.

Wickliffe Progressive Elementary, Jones Middle School and Upper Arlington High School were all rated excellent.

Weaver said he welcomes a more rigorous report card system next year.

"We understand the need for more rigor and will apply ourselves to the new standards with the same diligence we gave the old standards," he said.

The new grading system will include A-F letter grades based on six categories:

* Achievement: how well students are doing against national success standards.

* Gap closing: student performance among racial and demographic groups.

* Graduation rate.

* Progress: how well students of all abilities improve.

* K-3 literacy: how many students in K-3 are reading at grade level.

* Prepared for success: how many students are considered "college- and career-ready."

The grades in all six areas will then be calculated for an overall report card grade.

Grading in the specific areas will begin in August, but overall grades may not begin until August 2015, to give schools time to adjust to the new standards, according to information on the ODE website, at ilrc.ode.state.oh.us.

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