South-Western City Schools officials say a number of factors are making it more difficult than usual to assess the district's results on the state tests given to students last spring.

South-Western City Schools officials say a number of factors are making it more difficult than usual to assess the district's results on the state tests given to students last spring.

"There are some issues we're struggling with," said Brad Faust, assistant superintendent for curriculum. "They've not been really clear about how they are disseminating the information. It's coming out in bits and pieces (and a lot later than usual)."

Typically, preliminary test results would be released in August, but the Ohio Department of Education did not release the results for the 2014-15 school year until Nov. 20.

"These are very preliminary results and they surely will change," Faust said.

He said the final results likely would be made known in January or February.

Even when those final results are known, district officials might not be able to get much use out of them, he said.

The state used PARCC, an acronym for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, last year for the reading and math tests and AIR, the American Institutes of Research, tests for social studies and science.

Ohio leaders already have decided to drop the PARCC tests and will use AIR for all four assessment areas this year.

As a result, district officials have to take the one-time-only PARCC assessments and determine how to use those results in connection with the AIR exams to help decide how to make meaningful improvements in its instruction of students, Faust said.

The delayed release of the information is also giving districts less time to analyze the data, he said.

Adding to the confusion is the large number of problems in the science tests from last spring, he said.

District leaders have found more than 800 labeling issues in which it was impossible to match a test with a specific student, Faust said. The problem mostly occurred in the eighth-grade and high school science tests.

The district expects those issues will be resolved before the final results are released, he said.

The preliminary data show student performance in South-Western was similar to the average results throughout the state, Faust said.

According to the preliminary results from the Ohio Department of Education, 75.9 percent of South-Western fourth-graders scored proficient or better on the reading test. The percentage for other grade levels were: fifth grade, 75.1 percent; sixth grade, 76.7 percent; seventh grade, 71.1 percent; eighth grade, 68.6 percent; and ninth grade, 72.3 percent.

On the math tests, 95.7 percent of South-Western students were proficient or better on the geometry assessment.

The percentage of proficient or better on the math tests for grades 3 to 8 ranged from a low of 58.1 percent for third grade to a high of 68.2 percent for sixth grade. For the algebra test, 54.3 percent of South-Western students earned at least a proficient score.

In social studies, 70.1 percent of fourth-graders performed at proficient or better and 50.4 percent of sixth-graders earned at least the proficient score. The percentages for high school American government and history were 43.9 and 58.2.

Given the problems with the science tests, the state released only results for the fifth-grade and eighth-grade science assessments for South-Western.

The data show 57.2 percent of fifth-graders and 69.8 percent of eighth-grade students earned a proficient or better score on the test. Results for the high school physical science test were not given.