The Westerville City Schools district is rated "excellent" by the state on its 2007-08 report card, but district leaders say there is work still to do before they are satisfied.

The Westerville City Schools district is rated "excellent" by the state on its 2007-08 report card, but district leaders say there is work still to do before they are satisfied.

According to information released by the Ohio Department of Education on Tuesday, the district met 25 out of the 30 indicators on the 2007-08 report cards, one less than last year when it earned a lower "effective" ranking.

As of last week, Superintendent Dan Good said, the district expected to drop to continuous improvement this year because it did not meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for the third year in a row.

AYP is a provision in the federal No Child Left Behind law that requires all student subgroups to be at or above annual goals or to make improvements in reading, math, attendance and graduation rates.

The subgroups the state of Ohio tracks in its report card system are broken into several categories. They are: African-American, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic, multi-racial, white, economically disadvantaged, limited English proficient and students with disabilities.

If a district fails to meet the AYP goal set by the state of Ohio in any of the above subgroups in reading, math, attendance or graduation rates, then the entire district is considered to have not met AYP.

This year, the state looked further than the raw scores on the reading and math achievement tests of individual students who fall under the AYP umbrella to determine a district's rating.

If the value-added data showed students in a subgroup gained one year or more of academic growth during the school year and, based on that rate of progress, were expected to be proficient within two years, the district was shown to have met AYP.

The new growth component allowed the Westerville district to meet AYP in every student subgroup which, when combined with the value-added data, increased the district's rating to excellent, district spokesman Greg Viebranz said.

"We appreciate being recognized for our hard work with these students," Becky Carter, Westerville's director of accountability and testing, told the school board at its meeting Monday.

However, she said, the numbers are still the same and groups of children are still scoring below the proficient level.

"We still have the same seven subgroups that didn't meet it," Carter said.

She used a slide from a PowerPoint presentation to illustrate her statement for the board. The chart from the ODE showed each subgroup block colored in green, designating passage, while Carter's chart showed a mix of green and yellow, reflecting subgroups that need to improve.

"We cannot be satisfied until all of our students are in green (on the district chart) and meet AYP on their own," she said.

The district and individual school report cards can be viewed online at http://ilrc.ode.state.oh.us.