Ohio Senate, House Leaders Differ on A-F Grades

Members of the Ohio Board of Education listen to the explanation of the school report cards at their September meeting.
Members of the Ohio Board of Education listen to the explanation of the school report cards at their September meeting.
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Days after state report cards grading school districts were released, parents, educators, and even state Board of Education members are still trying to figure out just what those grades mean.

Superintendent Paolo DeMaria and employees of the state Department of Education drilled down into what each of the 11 graded measures stand for and how the department came up with each letter grade during the state Board of Education meeting Monday.

Several members pushed back against the A through F grades themselves, which were created in a joint effort between the board and the Ohio Legislature.

At one point, House Education Committee Chair Andrew Brenner—who serves as an ex-officio member of the board-- walked out of the meeting, saying some House members want to get rid of the grades altogether.

But Brenner’s Senate counterpart Peggy Lehner doesn’t agree.

 “I think that there’s a lot of value in the report card,” Lehner said after a two-hour discussion of the issue, “but that doesn’t mean that every component of it is done the best it can be, or we should continue to do one or another feature of the report card. I think that’s always worth reevaluating.”

Lehner said lawmakers should continue to work with the Board of Education to improve the grading system, not scrap it, leaving parents without a way to measure school success.

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