Cleveland, Akron Schools Receive Low Marks in State Reports Cards

Image: Ohio Department of Education
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by Nick Castele

The Cleveland Metropolitan School District received straight Fs in the latest round of state school report cards released on Thursday, and Akron Public Schools didn’t fare much better.

The Ohio Department of Education gave Cleveland failing grades in every measurement, including graduation rate, K-3 literacy and performance on state tests.

Cleveland’s showing in some of these measures fell over the previous year. The district received a D last year in state test performance. It also received Cs last year in value-added measurements, which track student achievement over time.

This year, all those measurements were Fs. Of the state’s eight largest school districts, Cleveland was the only one to receive straight failing grades.

Akron received Fs and Ds this year. The school district had received As last year in the student progress category, but those were reduced to Fs in this latest report card.

In a written statement, Akron schools spokesman Mark Williamson called the state report cards “substandard and not reflective of actual student progress.”

Ohio’s changing report card parameters make it impossible to track a district’s performance over time, he wrote.

According to a national test administered by the schools, Williamson wrote, “APS students have made progress in every area, jumping from (in most cases) 2013 results that showed our students in the 30th-40th percentile in reading and math, to now showing our kids performing above the 50th percentile.”

Roseann Canfora, chief communications officer for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, wrote that scores have dropped statewide. She pointed to the city’s rising 4-year graduation rate as a sign of progress.

Cleveland voters approved a levy in 2012, as part of the city’s planned reorganization of the schools. Renewal of the levy will be on the ballot this November. 

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