Ohio’s schools will start getting graded on a scale of A through F in 2015. But as Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler reports, the state department of education is offering a preview of those grade cards now.
Education officials say the A-F grades will make it easier for parents to understand how schools are doing. If the A-F scale were in place right now, a little over 60% of Ohio’s public schools would get As on how their students do on proficiency tests, compared to more than 63% which get the current top ratings of excellent or excellent with distinction. 24 districts – 6.4% – would get Fs, including some districts rated effective or continuous improvement now, which is in the middle of the ratings scale. Superintendent Richard Ross says he’s not surprised.
Ross: “Most schools will see lower grades than their past report card rankings have suggested. But I’m going to be asking you to trust that this is not a ‘gotcha’ for Ohio schools. It’s an opportunity for us to be aspirational and look two years down the road.”
And by the time the A-F grade cards come out in August 2015, the state standards will be harder. But state board of education vice president Tom Gunlock is confident.
Gunlock: “I don’t believe you’re going to see a big drop off in the scores.”
In this preview, only slightly over 9% of the more than 330 charter schools would get an A on student performance on proficiency tests, with an overwhelming number getting Fs – and a third of the state’s charters weren’t included by the Department of Education for various reasons. The report cards will also rate schools on their overall student improvement, on four and five-year graduation rates and on performance for gifted and disabled students and those at the bottom 20 percent.