PITSBURG — The release of the annual Ohio School Report Cards by the Ohio Department of Education brings comments from county administrators.
Franklin Monroe Local School District Superintendent Jeff Patrick said it is important to look at the overall district numbers.
“I think if you look at the rest of the county schools, and I think that is important, the system is arbitrary, and it changes. It changed a lot last year,” he said
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.
“Overall achievement in the county has gone down, but people don’t understand that 80 percent of the kids have to pass that area, and five percent is a big jump,” Patrick said. “If you look at Indicators Met, it is broken down by grades with percentages the that kids passed the test. The 3rd grade Reading score is 82.7 percent passed. Last year, we needed 75 percent of those to pass to get that point, this year we needed 80 percent. My fourth grade was 74 percent, so I did not meet that indicator. Last year I only missed that by one point. On the other hand, when I break it down to every school district in Darke County, of the 11 elementary test subjects given, Franklin Monroe had the highest score/passage rate in seven of those 11 tests. And of the other four tested areas, we were never out of the top four. When I look at it compared to the other county scores, we did pretty well. “
In addition, Franklin Monroe Local School District ranked 73 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 65.7 percent of funds on classroom instruction. Some of Franklin-Monroe’s summary of report card components and grades are as follows:
Achievement – C = Performance Index – B, 82.5 percent, and Indicators Met – D, 54.2 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.
“When I look at this compared to the other county scores, we did pretty well,” Patrick said. “That is the important thing to remember. These are great kids, they work hard and they understand the materials. But sitting behind the desk for two hours taking the test – some kids can’t handle this. Every kid has one day to show what they know about that subject. The kids are in session for 180 days. I don’t think the grade card does a very good job of telling a true story of how school districts do in educating students.”
Gap Closing – B, 87.5 percent
“We have had some progress and increased from last year, which is something we are excited about,” Patrick said. “It is the amount of growth that a child has made from one year to the next.”
Progress – B
The Progress component looks closely at the growth that all students are making based on their past performances.
The Franklin Monroe students in grades fourth-eighth, overall, made significantly more progress then expected in all tests. Students made less progress than expected in fourth and seventh grade English/Language Arts, and seventh grade Math. Students made progress similar to the statewide expectation in fourth and sixth grade Math and in sixth grade English/Language Arts. And Students made significantly more progress than expected in fifth grade English, Math and Science, sixth grade Social Studies and eighth grade English, Math and Science. The High School Students made more progress than expected in English I and Algebra I. They made progress similar to the statewide expectation in English II and less progress than expected in Geometry and Math I.
Prepared for Success – D, 44.6 percent
Whether training in a technical field or preparing for work or college, the Prepared for Success component looks at how well prepared Ohio’s students are for all future opportunities.
“I think everyone in the county is pretty low in this area,” Patrick said. “We are trying to figure out the mathematical formula behind that rating. Once we figure that out, we will do a better job of understanding why the grade is a D. We are having trouble breaking down that data and understanding that score. The formula in which the state uses, is something I think many school districts are trying to figure out. We are not happy with this grade.”
Patrick said the 31-page state report card is confusing with arbitrary numbers.
“The professional educators are dealing with this stuff on a daily basis, and if we don’t understand the mathematical formulas as educators; how can the average person understand?”
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