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The Ohio School Report Card Is One Source Of Data

As a school district committed to high achievement and continuous growth, we monitor and analyze a myriad of data points in Mariemont City Schools. This includes data like classroom and district assessment results, achievement on national tests such as the ACT, SAT and Advanced Placement exams, participation rates in extracurricular activities and athletics, student engagement numbers, and parent satisfaction survey results. It takes careful analysis of all of these data points and more to truly capture the performance of an outstanding school district like ours.

Yet another measure of our performance is the annual Ohio School District Report Card, and today, the state released Part One of the 2015 Ohio School Report Card (using data from last school year). This initial report includes three of the six components that comprise the report card, including graduation rate; K-3 literacy improvement; and a “preparation for success” rating. The data here does not surprise us. The state tracked fewer than 10 of our district students for K-3 literacy, so we did not receive a grade on this data point. We received an A in our graduation rate, and we scored well in the “prepared for success” category.

Later, in February, the state will release Part Two of the 2015 Ohio School Report Card, which will include the remaining three components – achievement, gap closing and progress. These grades are determined using (1) value-added scores, which measure a student’s progress over time, (2) a performance index that represents how well students scored on the state test, and (3) the number of performance indicators met on state-determined categories. Although I expect that we will also do well in these areas, state officials are warning school districts to keep all report card grades in perspective due to the fact that many of these grades are based on the PARCC assessment, which the state is no longer using as a measurement tool.

According to Senator Peggy Lehner, chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee, who was quoted in a recent article in the Columbus Dispatch, “Parents should be leery about putting too much emphasis on those categories that are based on PARCC test results. Any data that was derived from the test last year, no one should really pay any attention to it.”

I would add that we should always be leery about making judgments and/or decisions using only one data point. Although the state report card can be somewhat informative, its data (based almost entirely on one exam in each subject area) offers just one snapshot of the very complex work we do every day in our classrooms.

This is why we release our Quality Profile each fall. The profile offers a comprehensive look at the performance of our students and staff, using multiple measures and data points. I encourage you to review the Mariemont City School District’s Quality Profile, which you can find here on our website or in any of the school building offices. This profile includes measures beyond the test scores that make up the Ohio School Report Card and seeks to show the complete picture of the total value that our school provides to students.

Of course, we will take a serious look at the Ohio School Report Card, as it is one source of data to take into consideration, and we continue to strive to make our district even better for all who enter our buildings. We will continue to work as a school system to increase individual student achievement through rigorous curriculum design, instructional best practices and purposeful environments that maximize learner autonomy and capacity to thrive in the 21st century.

Please know we have never been more prepared and our teachers have never been more committed to creating tremendous opportunities for all students to lead, reach and explore. The Mariemont City School District community is one that values excellence in its schools, and when we see a student, we see more than a test or a report card grade.

At the end of the day, it’s all about the student experience and preparing our kids to be global leaders in tomorrow’s world, and this is always our focus. This school district has never been better positioned for today and for tomorrow, and I am proud of the work we do every day.

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Mariemont City Schools