While the benchmarks used to measure school progress on the report cards have evolved since they were first released in 1999, the purpose of the report card remains unchanged - to provide communities with information about how well their schools are performing - where they are succeeding and where there is room for improvement.
The report cards show the progress of schools using four measures of performance - State Indicators, Performance Index, Value-Added Measure and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). The combination of the four measures is the basis for assigning districts one of the six state designations - Excellent With Distinction, Excellent, Effective, Continuous Improvement, Academic Watch and Academic Emergency.
This year the Wooster City Schools earned the Excellent with Distinction designation while eight more – Chippewa, Dalton, Green, Northwestern, Norwayne, Orrville, Southeast and Triway - earned an Excellent designation. While Rittman Exempted Village continued to maintain an Effective designation, the district made significant advances over the previous year, advancing its Performance Index by more than three points and meeting AYP.
No Wayne County school district received the state’s three lowest ratings – Continuous Improvement, Academic Watch and Academic Emergency.
The designations are determined using a multistep process.
To determine a district’s preliminary rating the state looks at three factors – the State Indicators, Performance Index and AYP.
For the State Indicators, the state looks at a series of 26 different factors including assessments in curriculum content areas such as reading, math, writing, science and social studies, passage rates for the Ohio Graduation Test, attendance rates and graduation rates.
The state also measures the district’s Performance Index, which looks at the level of proficiency of all students in the district on certain content areas. The index gives additional weight to students performing at high levels of proficiency with weights decreasing for those students who have limited proficiency.
To determine the preliminary rating the state also looks to the district’s AYP, which is an analysis of the yearly progress made by the different demographic groups that make up the school population such as race, ethnicity, poverty and disability.
The State Indicators or the Performance Index, whichever is higher, and AYP are used to make the initial determination on the district’s designation.
Once the initial rating is determined the final measurement - the Value-Added Rating – is used to determine the final designation.
The Value-Added Rating represents the progress the district has made with its students since the last school year. The measure shows whether a district meets, exceeds or is below one year of growth for its students.
Information released by the Ohio Department of Education noted that the state’s students made some significant gains during the 2010-2011 academic year.
According to Stan Heffner, Ohio’s superintendent of public instruction, the percentage of students statewide scoring proficient or above on state tests increased on 21 of the 26 indicators.
The statewide Performance Index also jumped 1.7 points to 95, representing the biggest gain since the 2004-2005 school year.
For the 2010-2011 school year, 352 districts were rated as either Excellent with Distinction or Excellent, an increase of 56 over the previous year. The number of schools in those same categories grew last year by 186 to 1,769.
For more information on the annual report cards, visit the Ohio Department of Education website at http://www.ode.state.oh.us.
Published: September 7, 2011