Call it an error, a premature judgment, a breakdown in communications.

Call it an error, a premature judgment, a breakdown in communications.

Just make sure you call the Worthington schools "excellent."

That's right. After announcing two weeks ago that the district would receive a rating of "continuous improvement" on the state report card, district administrators discovered last week that all of the complex information that goes into the rating system had not been considered.

When Jennifer Wene, director of teaching and learning, was finally able to access the complete information on the Ohio Department of Education Web site on Tuesday, Aug. 19, she made a happy discovery.

Worthington was again rated as "excellent" by the state.

"I think I screamed at the top of my lungs," she told the Worthington Board of Education on Monday. "We are thrilled to have our district recognized for some hard work."

Worthington had been rated "excellent" for several years before falling into the "continuous improvement" category last year. "Excellent" is equivalent to an "A," "continuous improvement" to a "C."

The actual numbers have not changed since the preliminary results were announced by the district two weeks ago. Worthington students still met 28 of 30 state academic standards, only missing the mark in fifth-grade mathematics and eighth-grade social studies.

The district's performance index rating is still 101.8 on a scale that considers 100-and-above as excellent.

The jump from "continuous improvement" to "excellent" is attributed to a growth factor referred to as "value added" when applied to AYP.

"Value added" takes into consideration how much each child has learned in a year.

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

The subgroups the state of Ohio tracks in its report card sytstem 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 more than one of the above subgroups in reading, math, attendance or graduation rates, then the entire district is considered to have not met AYP and the district cannot be rated higher than "continuous improvement."

When Worthington administrators first looked at Worthington's AYP results two weeks ago, it was apparent that the district failed to meet AYP in four areas -- African-American reading, limited English proficient reading, and students with disabilities in reading and math.

After the "value added" factor was applied to the raw scores, it was determined that the district met AYP standards in all but students with disabilities in reading.

Wene said she realized the state was to begin factoring in "value added" this year, but did not realize that it would apply to subgroups.

The ratings for individual schools have also changed since the district first released results two weeks ago.

Now, two schools -- Bluffsview and Liberty elementary schools -- are rated "excellent with distinction," a new designation this year.

Rated "excellent" are Evening Street, Granby, Wilson Hill, Worthington Estates, Worthington Hills, and Worthington Park elementary schools; McCord Middle School and Phoenix alternative school; and both high schools.

Brookside, Colonial Hills, and Slate Hill elementary schools and Kilbourne, Perry, and Worthingway middle schools are rated "effective."