EDS NOTE: This is the first in a series of articles on local school district 2015-2016 Ohio Department of Education report cards.
NEW MADISON — Like many Buckeye State educators, Tri-Village Superintendent Josh Sagester takes issue with some of the conclusions which can be drawn from the state’s annual “Report Card.”
“While informative, the district recognizes that many of the report card indicators are solely based on tests given on a specific day during a specific time, and as a result does not truly provide the entire picture of a child’s learning experience in the Tri-Village Local School District; thus the report card does not define the district as a whole,” he said.
Though the districts were not provided an overall grade this year, the state does issue grades in certain categories.
Tri-Village received its highest grades in “Progress” (A) and “Graduation Rate” (A). “Performance Index” (C) was a middling grade. Lower grades include a “D” for “Achievement” and “Prepared for Success,” and an “F” for “Gap Closing,” K-3 Literacy” and “Indicators Met.”
“The history of the Tri-Village Local School District state report card has illustrated that our students, staff, parents and community have been able to meet and exceed expectations once the Ohio Department of Education bestows clear targets and testing measures remain consistent over a period of time,” said Sagester.
The changing of targets should be of concern as it regards the state’s assessment, but the performance of the students or teachers should not, says Sagester.
“Past results indicate students and staff have excelled in meeting increased expectations and adjusting to the frequent changes,” he said. “For example, in the first year that districts received what we now deem the state Report Card, the district earned a rating of ‘Continuous Improvement.’ Over the course of time, the district earned a rating of ‘Effective’ and eventually produced an ‘Excellent’ rating.”
“Beginning in 2012-2013, the state began to alter the report card format while embracing new standards and designing new assessments. In fact, school districts in Ohio have now taken three different assessments in three years, the OAA (Ohio Achievement Assessments) in 2014, PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) in 2015, and AIR (American Institute for Research) in 2016, and as a result, the grades reflect a system in transition. Due to this transition, a yearly comparison is not valid,” he explained.
Sagester pointed out, in some ways, the report card showed Patriot students exceeding expectations.
“Of the 608 school districts in Ohio, Tri-Village was one of only 114 districts to earn an ‘A’ on the Progress component which clearly indicates our students are making significant progress and one of 329 to earn an ‘A’ on the graduation component,” he said. “In fact, according to the state average with regards to actual achievement test results, our students were at or above the state average in 19 of the 23 tested categories that reveal a state average. However, the cut score to earn the indicator was considerably higher that the state average, in fact approximately 20 percent higher!”
The superintendent also took issue with the “Gap Closing” and “K-3 Literacy” formulas, pointing out the overwhelming number of school districts that demonstrated failure in those categories.
“An interesting fact — 526 districts out of 608 earned an ‘F’ on the Gap Closing component. That comes out to be 87 percent of the districts in Ohio. There might be a issue with this formula?” he said.
“Another interesting fact — 432 districts received a ‘D’ or ‘F’ on the K-3 Literacy component,” he added. “There are only 542 districts in this pool as 66 have an NR due to their limited pool. So, almost 80 percent of our districts earned a ‘D’ or ‘F’ in this measure.”
Ultimately, Sagester wants to express there is “more than meets the eye” when it comes to the state’s assessment.
“My main message is that we do way more for students than what a report card can depict. We have outstanding students, a wonderful staff and extremely supportive families which makes me proud to be the superintendent of the district,” he explained.
“As always, we will continue to support the academic, social and emotional growth of every child. We will grow stronger as a team and overcome any obstacles placed in our way. This is the Patriot Way…it starts and ends with the best team of educators, support staff and families.”
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