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Suburban schools react to Ohio's new school report cards

6:13 PM, Aug 23, 2013   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- Schools in Ohio are reacting to their grades on the state's new report card.

Many suburban schools in our region are seeing some surprising changes as new statistics from the state throw out the old idea of a overall passing grade, now breaking down performance in nine categories.

Twinsburg City Schools, a district with seven years of excellence, got two F's in the value added for disabled students and the lower 20 percent. Value added is a measurement of the growth from year to year.

"We really have to continue to drill down into the data, understand what the performance data is telling us, and then, based upon that data, really make some instructional changes occur for those students," Superintendent Kathi Powers said.

"Our responsibility here in our school district is to know every child's story," she said. "And to make sure that we understand what every child's needs are, what their successes are, what they can build upon. And at the end of the school year, it is our intention to be certain that every student is making at least one year's worth of growth if not more than that."

The district got A's in five other categories, including standards met, and B's in the remaining two categories.

"Every student is important to us, and their success is what we're about," Powers said. 

Chagrin Falls schools also got a failing mark for annual measurable objectives, a measure of performance of multiple racial and disability groups.

Superintendent Bob Hunt says the district has disputed the data the state used for the grades, which are currently being reverified. Hunt expects them to be released in early September. 

Hunt said he feels while value added statistics might help schools intervene with students who need help, releasing those results in a ranking could skew perception of public schools.

Shaker Heights came home with three D grades: for value added, annual measurable objectives and its four-year graduation rate. 

The district held a community meeting Wednesday to help explain the new measurements. You can watch the presentation on YouTube by clicking here

A district representative says the grades point out issues already addressed in a district-wide strategic plan.

While the state calls the report card a tool for parents to make tough decisions, a representative says it can help good districts become even better.

"If a school district sees that they have a low grade, a D or an F, they need to improve in that area," said John Charlton. "Even if they were an excellent school last year, they still probably have areas that they can improve in, and maybe they just didn't know that or maybe the light wasn't shined on that."

One of the best things to do is talk to your district. Your administrators are likely expecting questions following these new marks, and the state agrees -- parent involvement can help hold the schools accountable to each and every child.

You can review the state's report card for your district by clicking here.

13:54:37 Certainly the days of one size fits all can no longer be and we really have to be able to differentiate instruction and to build our curriculum based on multiple learning styles and multiple needs of our kids. 50
13:54:37 Certainly the days of one size fits all can no longer be and we really have to be able to differentiate instruction and to build our curriculum based on multiple learning styles and multiple needs of our kids. 50

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