Archived Story

School report cards show ups, downs of education

Published 10:04am Thursday, August 25, 2011

Students get them every nine weeks. For the last decade or so Ohio school districts have gotten them, too: report cards. They are the state’s way of telling the community how each district and, in fact, each individual school is performing.

CHESAPEAKE

For the third time in as many years, Chesapeake school district pulled in an effective rating. Once again the elementary school was deemed excellent, meeting all five of the state indicators required.

The school’s performance index came in at 100.1, the second-highest ranking for the three schools in the district. However, it came in below for value-added measure and was classified as at risk for the adequate yearly progress.

Third grade achievement scores exceeded the state’s requirement of 75 percent. Reading came in at 82.8 percent while mathematics reached 86.9 percent. Fourth grade scores also beat the state’s requirement with reading scores at 87. 4 percent, but math scores went down to 82.5 percent compared with third grade results.

“The elementary school is to be commended for continuing to provide that real foundation,” Dr. Scott Howard, Chesapeake superintendent, said.

This year the high school and middle school switched their ratings with the high school getting an excellent and the middle school coming in at effective.

“The high school went up for the first time ever, achieving excellent,” Howard said. “I am thrilled about the high school. That is strong evidence the staff is working on and focusing on the areas they selected last year. And it is a testament to the support parents have given the students and the students themselves.”

While both schools met the required state indicators, the middle school was listed as at risk for adequate yearly progress. The high school met its AYP.

“At the middle school we have some work to do there,” Howard said. “We have to rethink and examine what we are doing, to continue to do what is working and refocus on strategies that are not working. This is not about naming and blaming. It is a tool we should use to examine for improvement.”

Once again the state requirements for all five categories of the 10th grade OGT exceeded state standards and beat similar districts in reading coming in at 93.3 percent. The score for comparable districts was 91.6 percent.

For the district state indicators went up by three coming in at 22 compared with last year’s 19. However in 2008-2009 state indicators met were 23. There are a total of 26 that need to be met. The increase in indicators over last year came from the high school’s performance.

DAWSON-BRYANT

Overall, the Dawson-Bryant Local School District was rated effective. The district met 19 out of 26 indicators, three more than last year. They also scored 95.6 on the performance index, .8 above last year. The district did not meet its AYP, leaving the district with an “at risk” status.

The biggest deficits came at the elementary level, with all fourth and fifth grade scores dropping. Fourth grade reading dropped 10 points to 79.5. Math dropped 14.3 points to 70.5, below the state standard of 75 percent.

Fifth grade reading decreased 14.8 points to 76.9, math 16.9 points to 76 and science 10 points to 81.7.

Third graders increased their reading and math scores 1.8 points and 4.5 points, respectively.

At the middle school level, some improvement was made from previous years, but several of the testing areas still fell short of the state standard.

Both hovering around 65.5 percent last year, sixth and seventh grade math increased this year, adding 2.3 and 7.9 points to their scores, respectively, although still not reaching the state standard.

Both grades also decreased their scores in reading. Already both below the state standard last year, sixth grade continued to drop 1.4 points, leaving them with 72.8, and seventh grade dropping 5.6, leaving them with 67.

Eighth grade scores improved in all testing areas, including gaining 6.6 points in science, which boosted them back over the state standard to 79.8. Math increased 4.4 points, but still remained below 75 percent at 69. This is the third year in a row the grade has not met the standard in math.

At the high school level, the school received a stand-alone rating of excellent. Principal Steve Easterling said he was especially pleased with the 10th grade OGT scores. Each area of testing saw a gain of at least 11 points, with the largest gain in math, 16.4 points to 91.1.

“I’m very pleased,” Easterling said. “I know the teachers and that 10th grade class worked extra hard … It all seemed to come together.”

The 11th grade class, however, saw a decrease in all areas of testing. Each area stayed above the 85 percent state standard except science, which dropped 2.4 points to 81.1.

“I don’t have an answer for that,” Easterling said, saying that science has always been an issue.

This year, Easterling said, the teachers have been planning ways to make improvements in science.

“(Teachers) are trying to be more specific with topics,” he said. “and hone in on some weak strands.”

The graduation rate for the district was 98.7 percent.

GREEN

The Green school district in western Scioto County was rated excellent as a district. The district met 20 of its 26 indicators and met its AYP. Green also was in the above category in its value added measure and scored a performance index of 96.4 percent. Last year, Green was in the continuous improvement category.

Green’s attendance rate was 93.6 percent and its graduation rate was 98.2 percent.

Third graders posted exactly the same percentages in reading and math: 81.4 percent. These are dramatic improvements over last year’s 69.7 and 72.7 percents, respectively.

Eighty-eight percent of Green fourth graders scored at or above the proficient level in reading, 85.7 in math. These are also improvements over last year.

Among fifth graders, 65.2 scored in the preferred category in reading, 45.7 percent in math and 76.1 percent in science. Fifth grade percentages reflected a decrease over last year.

Among sixth graders, 88.9 percent scored at or above the proficient level in reading, which is a drop from last year’s 94.1 percent and posted 75.6 percent in math, which is an increase of nearly nine percentage points.

Seventh graders posted percentages of 81.8 in reading and 60.6 in math.

Eighth graders posted percentages of 87 in reading, 54.3 percent in math and 56.5 percent in science. All of thesse figures are improvements from last year although the math and science scores are the most sizeable leaps. Last year only 22.2 percent of Green eighth graders scored in the preferred categories in math, only 36.1 in science.

At the high school, which was rated excellent, the percentage of 10th graders scoring at or above the proficient level on the reading portion of the test was 96.2 percent; those figures were 92.3 in math, 98.1 in writing, 84.6 in science and 96.2 in social studies.

Juniors taking the test posted preferred category percentages of 95.1 in reading, 90.2 in math, 92.7 writing, 73.2 in science and 85.4 in social studies. With the exception of writing, these are all sizeable gains over last year’s showing.

FAIRLAND

For the second year in a row Fairland has earned an excellent rating, with all four schools pulling in the same high rating as the district as a whole. That’s an improvement over the report card from 2009-2010 when Fairland Middle came in at effective. It was in 2008-2009 that the entire district dropped to effective after being designated excellent the previous year.

This year the district performance index went up 2.5 points coming in at 101.5 out of a possible 120 points. Once again the district was determined to not have met the AYP goals, putting the district in the “at risk” category. The perfect proficiency for students with disabilities in math was not met.

The district met 23 of the 26 indicators, a drop of 2 over last year.

The state achievement indicators for all grades and subjects were met except for fifth grade reading and math and 11th grade science. Reading missed the state’s requirement of 75 percent by 1 percentage point while math came in at 67.2 percent. Science for that grade was 79.4 per cent, virtually equal to the scores in similar districts.

Eleventh grade science ranked one percentage point below the requirement of 85 percent.

Last year the lowest score was for eighth grade science that came in at 60.7. That score for 2010-2011 went up to 79.5 percent. The district improved in the value-added measure meeting the requirements, an improvement over last year when the rating was deemed below standards.

The middle school met all state requirements for sixth, seventh and eighth grade achievement tests. The highest score was in sixth grade reading at 92.1 percent with the lowest score at 79.5 percent in eighth grade science.

All scores for Fairland West exceeded the state requirement of 75 percent except for fifth grade reading, which came in at 74 percent, and fifth grade math at 67.2 percent. Science for that grade was at 79.4 percent.

Calls made to Fairland Superintendent Roni Hayes on her reaction to the results were not returned by press time.

IRONTON

The district as a whole was rated effective, the same as last year. The district met 19 of its 26 indicators and achieved a performance index of 93.4 percent out of a possible 120. The district did not meet its adequate yearly progress (AYP), which means the district is considered “at risk” as far as its AYP is concerned. Ironton was listed as below par in the value added category.

The district’s attendance rate was 94.9 percent and its graduation rate was 97.4.

The elementary school was listed as effective, meeting 5 of its 8 indicators. The grade school got a score of 91.1 out of a possible 120 on its performance index. It did not meet its AYP and is considered below par in the value added measure.

The percentage of third graders scoring at or above the proficient level was 85.1 percent in reading and 91.1 percent in math.

The number of fifth graders scoring at or above the proficient level was 65.2 percent in reading 47.3 percent in math and 55.4 percent in science.

The middle school was listed as effective, having met 6 of 8 indicators and its AYP as a building. The middle school also met its value added measure and scored a 95.2 on its performance index, an increase of 3 points from last year.

“We’re most proud of our middle grades,” Superintendent Dean Nance said. “They’ve really improved over previous years. We’re also proud of our teachers and their willingness to change and try new things that research has proven to be effective. We’re proud of the entire staff’s attitude.”

Among sixth graders, 91.6 percent scored at or above the proficient level in reading and 85 percent in math. The reading score is unchanged from last year; in math there is a slight gain.

Among seventh graders, 84.3 scored at or above the proficient level in reading and 76.9 in math. Both scores are a 10 percent jump from last year’s figures.

Among eighth graders, 84.0 scored at or above the proficient level in reading, 74.5 in math and only 61 percent in science. As compared with last year, the reading and math scores show a gain of at least 10 points in reading and a math and a slight gain in science.

The high school was rated effective, having met 10 of 12 indicators. The building did not meet its AYP and scored 93.7 out of 120 points on the performance index.

Among sophomores, the city district posted decreases in the number of students scoring at or above the proficient level on the Ohio Graduation Test (OGT). Of the 10th graders taking the test, 83.9 percent scored at or above the proficient level in reading, 74.6 percent on the math portion, 80.5 percent in writing, 71.2 in science and 75.4 percent in social studies. The number of 10th graders scoring at or above the proficient level on the OGT fell by anywhere from 7.5 points to as much as 19 points in some areas.

Among juniors taking the test, 94.6 scored at or above the proficient level in reading, 95.5 percent in math, 93.7 percent in writing, 93.7 percent in science and 94.6 in social studies. This reflects slight gains in reading and math. In the others areas, Ironton juniors posted exactly the same percentages as last year.

ROCK HILL

As a district, Rock Hill is listed as effective. The district met 10 of 26 indicators and met its value added measure. It did not meet its AYP as a district and scored a 93.2 on its performance index. The district’s attendance rate was 94 percent and its graduation rate was 88.5 percent.

Superintendent Wes Hairston said this year’s report card is the best the district has ever had and he could not be more pleased with the progress that has been made.

“We’ve come a long way from where we were. But we’re not content. We’re looking to build on our successes. We’ve taken some low risks and these have had huge payoffs and things are getting better,” Hairston said.

The elementary school was rated effective again this year, having met 4 of its 8 indicators. It did not meet its AYP and was below standard on its value added measure. The grade school posted a performance index of 94.3 percent.

Third graders scoring at or above the proficient level in math was 89.3 percent; in math the figure was 87.4 percent; these are gains of at least three points over last year’s figures.

Among fourth graders, the figures for reading and math, respectively, were 85.1 percent and 64.9 percent respectively. Compared to last year, the reading score was an increase over last year; the math score was a drop of more than 10 points.

Rock Hill fifth graders scoring at or above the proficient level in reading was 73.7 percent, 69.7 percent in math and 68.7 percent in science. All of these areas showed gains over last year. Science saw the biggest increase among fifth graders — a jump of more than 10 percent.

Kathy Bowling, assistant principal at the elementary school, said the changes have taken place and the results have been dramatic because everyone is pulling in the same direction.

“It has worked because the teachers have bought into it,” she said.

For the first time ever, the middle school was rated excellent, meeting 3 of 8 indicators and scoring above level on its value added measure. The performance index for the middle school was 90.9 percent; the school did not meet its AYP.

Among sixth graders, 81.3 scored at or above the proficient level in reading and 70.3 in math. Compare these figures to last year when those figures were 74 percent and 57.5 percent respectively. That means Rock Hill sixth graders posted a gain of 13 points on the math portion of the test.

Among seventh graders, 68.9 percent tested at or above the proficient level in reading and 68.1 percent in math. While the reading area was slightly below last year’s figure, the gain in math was nearly 20 percentage points.

Among eighth graders, the reading, math and science figures were 80.6, 67.6 and 73.8 percent respectively. Every one of these figures is at least 10 percentage points above last year’s showing. In the science portion of the test, only 49.2 percent of eight graders last year scored at or above the proficient level, therefore this year’s gain is more than 23 percent.

The high school was rated effective again this year. It met 5 of 12 indicators and scored a 95 on its performance index. It did not meet its AYP.

Among Rock Hill sophomores taking the OGT, 80.8 scored at or above the proficient level in reading, 78.8 in math, 86.5 in writing, 68 percent in science and 72.8 percent in social studies. All of those figures were increase over last year.

Among juniors taking the OGT, those figures were 83.8 in reading, 83.9 in math, 87.3 in writing 74.6 in science and 79.7 in social studies. These were figures were decreases over last year.

SOUTH POINT

The South Point Local School District received an effective rating again this year, and met 17 out of 26 indicators, one less than last year. The district scored 96.2 on the performance index and its AYP was not met.

Superintendent Ken Cook said he had mixed feelings about this year’s results.

“We were so close to picking up so many indicators,” Cook said of about four or five areas that were nearly at the state standard level.

He also said he was happy with South Point Elementary’s excellent rating and meeting it’s AYP, along with the middle school.

“I’ve got to be pleased with that, but there is always room for improvement,” he said.

In testing areas, the greatest gain was at the middle school level. Eighth grade math saw an increase of over 18 points, taking them from below the state standard to 80.5.

Sixth grade reading and math both saw increases and remain above the state standard. Seventh grade reading and math, however, both saw decreases. This year’s math score, down .3 to 70.2, has been below the standard three years in a row.

The largest deficit from the district’s report card came from the elementary level, including South Point and Burlington elementary.

Fourth grade math dropped 9.6 points to 78.1, still above the state standard. Reading increased just over a point for fourth graders.

Third graders saw about a 4-point drop in reading in math, their scores still above the standard. Fifth graders improved one and two points in reading and science, but dropped a point in math to 73.5. This is the third year in a row the fifth grade has been below the 75 percent standard.

South Point Elementary received an overall rating of excellent on their own, with all eight indicators for the school met, and principal Chris Mathis said he couldn’t be happier. As for the drop in fourth grade math, he said it doesn’t concern him overall.

“You’re going to fluctuate each year,” Mathis said. “You can’t really compare year to year. They are different groups coming through.”

Mathis added that he would have loved to see 100 percent across the board, but the teachers are doing a good job.

“I’ve got a wonderful staff and they do a great job he said,” he said.

At the high school level, OGT scores increased about 5 points for both 10th and 11th grade reading and writing. Both grades also decreased in math, leaving them both under their standards of 75 and 85 percent.

Science scores increased for 10th graders over 6 points, but they didn’t quite make it to the standard, getting 74.6. The 11th grade class dropped a little over 4 points and remains below the standard for the third year in a row.

The district also had an 82.3 percent graduation rate, 7.7 point below the state standard.

SYMMES VALLEY

The Symmes Valley district was rated effective this year, the same as last year. It met 23 of 26 indicators and scored a performance index of 97.6 percent. As a whole, the district did meet its value added measure but not it’s AYP. The attendance rate for the entire district was 94.5 percent and its graduation rate was 95.1 percent.

At the multilevel school, third graders scoring at or above the proficient level was 88.7 percent in reading and 91.9 in math. The reading score showed an increase of approximately four points over last year’s figures, but this year’s report card reflected a decrease in the math score.

Among Symmes Valley fourth graders, the percentage of students who scored at or above proficient in reading and math were 89.1 and 87.3 respectively. The reading score was slightly above last year’s report card; the math score stayed exactly the same.

Among fifth graders, 73.1 scored at or above the proficient level in reading, 71.6 in math and 79.1 in science. The math statistic reflects a huge increase over last year when only 52.6 percent of the kids in that grade scored at or above the proficient level. The other two areas saw decreases.

Among sixth graders, 88.9 percent scored at or above the proficient level in reading; 85.2 percent scored in the upper categories in math. These figures were decreases over the previous year.

Among seventh graders, the figures were 80 percent in reading and 86.7 in math. Last year’s figures were 90.5 and 92.1, respectively.

Eighth graders posted percentages of 87.9 in reading and in math as well and 63.6 in science. The reading score was an increase over last year’s 76.9 percent in reading and 75 percent in math but a decrease over last year’s 75 percent in science.

The high school was rated excellent again on this report card. It met all of its 12 indicators, and scored a 96.8 on its performance index. The high school met its individual AYP.

Of the Symmes Valley sophomores taking the OGT, 88.5 percent scored at or above the proficient level in reading, 91.8 in math, 90.2 in science and 77 in social studies. This is relatively the same performance as last year.

Among juniors taking the test, 95 percent scored in the preferred categories in reading, 94.8 in math, 75.4 in writing, 91.5 in science and in social studies. These figures reflect small gains in every area of the test.

Symmes Valley Superintendent Jeff Saunders attributed the district’s overall report card success to great students and staff.

“It was an overall good effort,” Saunders said. “There are still improvements to be done and we’re working to make improvements.”

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