On the Ohio Department of Education's recently released 2016-17 Ohio School Report Card, the Bexley City School District improved or maintained its marks from the 2015-16 school year.
Bexley maintained its B in the achievement category, a component that measures how many students in a district passed state tests and how well they performed on them.
In addition to achievement, the Ohio School Report Card gives A-F grades to districts statewide in the following categories: K-3 literacy, how successful the district is in getting struggling readers on track; graduation rate; gap closing, how well schools are doing in closing the achievement gap of students based on income, race, ethnicity or disability; progress, the growth all students make based on their past performance; and prepared for success, which measures how well prepared students are for college and technical training.
Bexley maintained an A rating in the graduation rate and prepared for success categories, and a B in the K-3 literacy category. The district made improvements in the progress category, with a B compared to a D last year, and a C in the gap closing category, up from a D last year.
According to the report card data, 100 percent of third-graders met the requirements for the Ohio Third-Grade Reading Guarantee for promotion to fourth grade.
In reviewing the card's data, Superintendent Kimberly Miller said the district ramped up its use of diagnostic tools to target specific areas for intervention and refined use of teachers working in "intervention teams" to develop strategies to close achievement gaps.
Both Miller and school board president Melissa Lacroix said the district uses the Ohio School Report Card as just one tool to assess students' progress and schools' overall performance.
"We never look at one piece of data. We use multiple data and rely on teachers' assessments" of students throughout the school year, Miller said.
"Our community is smart to know that this is just a snapshot of student test results on a single day. We don't measure our success that way," Lacroix said. "We measure our success on that student who walks the across the stage on graduation day and what they've done for the past 13 years. I think the community views it that way as well."
Chris Woolard, senior executive director at the Ohio Department of Education, said the ODE has seen positive signs in this year's report cards.
"One of the things that we're seeing across the board is that achievement levels are up," Woolard said.
Woolard also said the proper context is needed to understand the grades.
"We encourage parents and community members to talk to teachers and talk to principals," he said.
Woolard said the report cards should not be the lone piece of evidence residents use to judge a district.
"We know there's a lot more to the story," he said.
The complete Ohio Schools Report Card is available at Reportcard.education.ohio.gov.
ThisWeek staff writer Thomas Gallick contributed to this story.