The Ohio Department of Education released a pared-down version of school report cards on Wednesday, withholding some of the most illuminating information while a statewide investigation into possible manipulation of attendance data continues.
The education department was to release full report cards on Aug. 29, but the board voted to delay the release, an unprecedented move. The board later approved the release of limited data, waiting for Ohio Auditor Dave Yost to complete his investigation before the board releases complete report cards.
“ODE is committed to releasing data when available so that students, parents, educators, and the public can be informed about the progress of our schools,” Michael Sawyers, acting state superintendent of public instruction, said in a statement.
The data released included graduation rates, proficiency rates in individual grades, and value-added results, which measure how student performance grew from year to year.
But omitted for schools and districts were their ratings, the label used to describe performance. Unofficial results show Toledo Public Schools kept its rating of continuous improvement, the equivalent of a C. Also not included were performance index scores, a cumulative average of scores for all grades, a helpful tool to show how a district or building as a whole performed.
Complicating analysis of TPS buildings, the district abandoned middle schools last year, moving to systemwide K-8 buildings. That added grades to most elementary schools and altered attendance boundaries.
Although TPS kept its rating, the district's report card was generally poor, as scores in many grades declined. Superintendent Jerome Pecko said the results were disappointing, but not entirely unexpected, because the district underwent significant changes that moved many teachers into unaccustomed roles.
Scores dropped in third, fourth, seventh, and 10th grades, although they increased in eighth grade, which Mr. Pecko cited as evidence that the move to K-8 schools had a positive impact. He said he expects gains in coming years.
"I'm still anticipating that the things that have been put together will have a significant impact in improving the quality of the instruction program we deliver and the results that we get from our students," he said.
At the high school level, TPS had a tough year, with Rogers and Start showing test-score declines across the board, and a third, Waite, with declines in all but one area. The district's two magnet high schools, Toledo Technology Academy and the Toledo Early College High School, both largely retained high scores.
Scott High School moved away from the small school concept last year, inhibiting comparisons to the previous year. The school scored below other TPS high schools in most areas, although its on-time graduation rate was up to 69.7 percent from 54.7 percent in 2011.
Martin Luther King, Jr., Academy for Boys made major gains for the second year.
In suburban Toledo, scores for Perrysburg schools were largely up, with test results up in more than half of tested subjects. Students also grew more rapidly than expected on the value-added metric, a focus of the district, said Kadee Anstadt, executive director of teaching and learning. But value-added scores at the classroom level are delayed because of the state attendance data investigation.
Washington Local's report card had ups and downs, but preliminary results show the district would have had its highest performance index score ever, said Brian Davis, director of curriculum and instruction. The picture is incomplete, though mostly positive.
Sylvania schools showed growth in several areas, in particular fifth grade, which saw increases in reading, math, and science.
Contact Nolan Rosenkrans at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6086.
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