Districts concerned about new state report card measures


Greene County News

COLUMBUS — Thursday’s release of the Ohio Department of Education state report cards is causing concern in school districts across the state because many of this year’s scores are lower than in prior years. Even though schools are seeing local improvement on many fronts, the results were not unexpected since students are being judged against new, higher state standards.

OSBA supports accountability and welcomes the opportunity to learn how students are progressing and where improvement is needed. At the same time, there are concerns about 2016 being the third year in a row with different tests and varying standards. Districts need adequate time to properly prepare for such transitions.

School board members and administrators have expressed legitimate concerns about the report card methodology and measures. They’re also concerned that the report card tells only part of the story.

“To truly gauge progress, it’s important to take a holistic look at student and district achievement,” said OSBA President Eric K. Germann, a school board member at Lincolnview Local Schools and Vantage Career Center in Van Wert County. “The report card is just one component. Many other factors, including job, college and military placement, scholarships awarded, the arts and community service must be part of the overall picture of student success.”

The recently passed Every Student Succeeds Act provides a welcome opportunity for the Ohio Department of Education and state legislature to review and reconsider report cards and measures. OSBA looks forward to working with them to ensure that assessment is fair, equitable and consistent and reporting is clear and concise.

The association also urges the education department to reach out to local school boards to help them better interpret and use the results to improve student achievement and help their communities better understand the report cards. OSBA stands ready to support the department in that effort and will work with local boards to increase their understanding of the data and share that knowledge with their communities.

In its 61st year, the Ohio School Boards Association leads the way to educational excellence by serving Ohio’s public school board members and the diverse districts they represent through superior service, unwavering advocacy and creative solutions.

Story courtesy of the Ohio Department of Education.

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