School leaders react to school report cards

By Drew Stambaugh - [email protected]

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.

“The release of the Ohio School Report Cards is yet another change in the rating system from the Ohio Department of Education (ODE),” said Wauseon Superintendent Troy Armstrong. “I will say that the ODE did make some changes that reflect educator input and I am happy to see that the ODE listened to those who educate our students daily.”

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.

“With the Ohio Department of Education rolling out a new-look, revamped report card, there are some areas we are still trying to wrap our minds around,” said Pettisville Superintendent Josh Clark. “However, as I expected, our report card highlights the fact that we have phenomenal teachers who instruct phenomenal students. Overall, our spending per pupil is below the state average, but our academic results exceed state average, further driving the point home that our teachers and students are second-to-none.”

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

“It goes without saying that the past couple of school years have been a challenge for students and teachers alike,” said Fayette Superintendent Angela Belcher. “With that being said, Fayette met or exceeded expectations in several areas on the report card. We will continue to focus on closing the gap and improving student progress through curriculum implementation, vertical alignment, and professional development.”

Armstrong said he was pleased with Wauseon’s results.

“The district significantly exceeded the state standard in Gap Closing which is a measure of student growth from one year to the next,” he said. “The district exceeded state standards in Achievement (state testing) and Graduation (both 4 year and 5 year cohorts). The district met state standards in Progress and Early Literacy. The College, Career, Workforce and Military Readiness area was not rated in Ohio this year and the district continues to expand its efforts to prepare our students for all post-high school opportunities.”

Clark said he was happy to see Pettisville’s achievement component continues to be strong, “and that our growth, as measured by value-added, looks positive from a district perspective.”

He added, “One area I am always particularly interested in is the Gap Closing component, which measures the reduction in educational gaps in specific student subgroups. Historically, this particular component has been a difficult one to score well in for a vast majority of the state for a variety of reasons. The fact that we received five stars is very encouraging. All in all, I am extremely happy with our report card, and as we continue to get a good grasp on all the ‘nooks and crannies’ of the data, we will continue to seek to improve as a district.”

Like other county superintendents, Belcher pointed out that the reports cards are just one data point when it comes to measuring a school district.

“The report card certainly does not show the entire picture, including the many supports we have in place for students, for example, with mental health services and social emotional guidance,” she said. “We as a district will continue to educate the whole child and believe we make a positive difference in our students’ lives on a daily basis.”

By Drew Stambaugh

[email protected]

Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010

Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010