Olentangy Local Schools received an overall A on the 2019 report card released by the Ohio Department of Education on Sept. 12.

The mark is improved from a B on last year's report card.

School districts in Ohio are graded by the ODE each year "on specific marks of performance, called measures, within broad categories called components," according to the ODE’s "Guide to 2019 Ohio School Report Cards” at education.ohio.gov.

Olentangy's 2019 marks on the six components are:

* B in achievement (which measures student performance on state tests), same as last year

* A in progress (which represents growth based on past performance for all students), up from a D last year

* A in gap closing (how well schools are meeting performance expectations for "our most vulnerable students," per the language on the report card), same as last year

* A in graduation rate (based on students earning their diplomas in four or five years), same as last year

* C in improving at-risk K-3 readers, listed as NR last year

* B in prepared for success (on how well students are trained for any future opportunity, including college or technical training), same as last year

"At the district level, it was good news all around. I need to spend some more time looking at the data at a building level," said Jack Fette, the district's chief academic officer.

Fette said the district expected improvement in some data areas, and those expectations were confirmed in the report card.

For example, the one-year jump from D to A in progress is indicated, in part, by the way that score is calculated, Fette said. The district's score in that area was low in the first year the state instituted the current report-card system.

"We knew we hadn't changed our instruction, so we expected our scores would go up," he said, adding that this is the first score in which that "year of bad data is not reflected."

But the report card isn't so much a driver of educational policy and practice as it is a reflection, he said.

"We always want to do well, and our goal is always straight A's. Our teachers work really hard so that external validation is a good thing, but we don't really celebrate the data. We're always doing the best we can," Fette said. "But it's not really actionable as the data we collect in the classroom on a real-time basis. That's the job of our teachers."

According to a report from administration, Olentangy ranked 22nd in the state and second among districts in central Ohio (Franklin and Delaware counties), and second among similar districts in the state.

All elementary schools ranked in the top 20.4% of the state, according to the administration's report. All middle schools scored in the top 8% of the state, and all high schools in the top 9.5% of the state.

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2019 state report cards: central Ohio school districts