State Report Cards: Mississinawa Valley takes state scores seriously


UNION CITY — The release of the annual Ohio School Report Cards by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) brings comments from county administrators.

Mississinawa Valley Local School District Superintendent Doug Dunham said the staff and teachers take the scores very seriously.

“Looking at our school, we were disappointed that we didn’t hit some of the indicators of the report card,” Dunham said. “Our staff and teachers take the scores very seriously and are compassionate about them, but we also don’t let the test scores define our district. The report card is how a lot of school districts are defined. I am not saying it is not important, and the data and our teaching strategies are somethings we have to look at. But I think if you talk to all of us, we all feel the same away. I have been in education for 17 years, and it seems like it is always changing. We have had the same assessment the last two years, with end of course exams. Our teachers are still trying to get used to this – using the data to drive their instruction.”

Mississinawa Valley ranked six out of 163, in a comparison group of schools ranking the percentage of funds used for classroom instruction. A rank of one indicates the highest percent spent on classroom instruction. The district spent 72.5 percent of funds on classroom instruction. While schools and districts have received A-F letter grades on “Indicators Met” and “Performance Index” for several years, something new this year was the increase from 75 to 80 percent of students needing to score proficient or higher on each state test. Some of Mississinawa Valley’s summary of report card components and grades are as follows:

Achievement – D = Performance Index – C, 70.9 percent, and Indicators Met – F, 0 percent

The Achievement component represents the number of students who passed the state tests and how well they performed on them. The Performance Index measures the test results of every student, not just those who score proficient or higher. Indicators Met measures the percent of students who have passed state tests. It also includes the gifted indicator. Test results are reported for each student in a grade and subject. The passage rate for each indicator is 80 percent.

“One positive we took, we were recognized as one of the 12 districts in the Miami Valley District that did increase in their “Performance Index” score,” Dunham said. “So we can take away a positive in that area. We received a C, but we did increase our overall “Performance Index” Score from last year.”

K-3 Literacy – D, 11.3 percent, meaning 88.7 percent of the students remained off-track. According to the ODE, Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee ensures that students are successful in reading before moving on to fourth grade. Schools must provide supports for struggling readers in early grades. If a child appears to be falling behind in reading, the school will immediately start a Reading Improvement and Monitoring Plan. Students have multiple opportunities to meet promotion requirements including meeting a minimum promotion score on the reading portion of the state’s third grade English language arts test given twice during the school year. Students have an additional opportunity to take the state assessment in the summer, as well as a district-determined alternative assessment. Mississinawa Valley third graders meeting the Third Grade Reading Guarantee requirements for promotion to fourth grade were 95.6 percent. The percentage of third graders that scored proficient on the state Reading test was 63.8.

Progress – C

The Mississinawa Valley students in grades fourth-eighth overall, made less progress than expected in all tests. Students made less progress than expected in fifth, sixth and eighth grade math; sixth grade social studies and fifth grade English. They made progress similar to the statewide expectation in fourth grade English; fourth and eighth grade math and eighth grade science. And students made more progress than expected in fifth grade science and sixth and seventh grade English. High School students made less progress than expected English I, Algebra I and Geometry. They made progress similar to the statewide expectation in English II.

Graduation Rate – A

Prepared for Success – D, 25 percent

“If you look at our student body, there are many other things happening,” Dunham said. “We released more than $293,000 worth of scholarships and our Future Farmers of America (FFA) is very successful in building good leaders with our students. Some other clubs and organizations have students participating, such as our Business Professionals of America and College Credit Plus satellite program, and being successful in college. We are preparing them to enter the workforce when they graduate. We are doing a good job.”

By Carolyn Harmon

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The writer may be reached at 937-569-4354. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to

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