Area superintendents identified positives with the recently released Ohio Department of Education School Report Cards, but also pointed out that they are just one aspect of measuring a quality school district.
“Overall, I am pleased with the report card,” said Swanton Superintendent Chris Lake. “The state has made some changes to the way they calculate some of the categories that schools are measured on and I feel that it gives a more accurate representation.”
The state has also changed the category rankings from letter grades to number of stars, ranging from one to five. One and two star ratings show a district fell short of standards or expectations, three stars means the district met expectations or standards and four and five stars mean the district was above state thresholds.
No overall star rating is given this year.
The state’s number of stars for Fulton County districts was (from left: Achievement, Progress, Gap Closing, Graduation, and Early Literacy):
• Archbold — 5, 2, 5, 5, 4
• Evergreen — 4, 2, 3, 4, 4
• Fayette — 3, 1, 2, 5, 3
• Pettisville — 5, 3, 5, 5, 4
• Pike-Delta-York — 4, 3, 4, 3, 3
• Swanton — 4, 3, 5, 3, 3
• Wauseon — 4, 3, 5, 4, 3
“The extensive changes to the report card make it difficult to compare some areas of the restructured report to past ODE report cards,” said Pike-Delta-York Superintendent Ted Haselman. “We are happy to share that the data we received affirms that PDY students continue to show important growth in the areas of Achievement, Progress (or Value Added), Gap Closing (which measures the amount of academic growth shown by students in different subgroups), and Early Literacy.
Evergreen Superintendent Eric Smola agreed that when looking at the results, it is important to note the changes in the state’s accountability system, which includes a different rating system and changes in calculations.
He noted that Evergreen increased the number of students meeting proficiency on 13 of the 20 state assessments. “Although the calculation is different this year, Evergreen improved the performance index from last year.”
Smola added that Evergreen Elementary increased the number of students moving from “not-on-track” to “on-track,” based on fall diagnostic assessments significantly.
Lake noted that Swanton received four stars for achievement, “which means that our students exceeded the state thresholds for performance on state tests.”
The district also received five stars for gap closing which means that the district “significantly exceeded” the standards for closing educational gaps for various subgroups.
Lake also pointed out that the report card only tells one side of the story about the district.
“While I appreciate the idea that the ‘numbers’ that are used to measure students are moving in a positive direction, Swanton is much more than just those numbers,” he said. “We continue to strive to provide unique programming that will allow our students to build a solid foundation upon which to base future success. Our dedicated staff work hard every day to provide students with not just an education, but a happy, safe and stable environment for them to explore their passions. That is something that cannot be quantified by a report card.”
“The 2021-2022 Evergreen Local Report Card provides only a snapshot of the quality of education provided to our students,” he said. “Unfortunately, this does not reflect what is occurring daily in our school buildings.”
Haselman said the report card is a gauge, but district officials know it is not the only measurement of a quality school district.
“Recently, the Pike-Delta-York Local School District released the sixth edition of our Quality Profile (QP). This initiative, which began in 2015, tells the entire story of the district and captures a more complete picture of Pike-Delta-York,” he said. “Our QP highlights six areas: Academics, the Arts, Student Leadership & Activities, Fiscal Stewardship, Parent & Community Involvement, and Student Services. The information included in the QP is inclusive of the entire district, K-12, and from all departments and areas.”
The QP is distributed to district residents and available at pdys.org/QP.
Comments from additional superintendents will be included in the Thursday edition of the Fulton County Expositor and on our websites.