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Schools earn praise for state report cards

Remember when you were a child and your parents would reward you on report card day? Those never looked better than they did when you had some extra cash in your pocket.

Well, Lawrence County schools as a whole deserve a little monetary reward for a job well done - but also as a little incentive to keep up the good work.

Chesapeake, Dawson-Bryant, South Point and Symmes Valley received an "effective" rating on their report cards.

Ironton City Schools and Rock Hill were in "continuous improvement"

Fairland earned "excellent ratings" for the fourth time in the past 5 years.

Everyone involved should be proud of the progress they have made because it does not happen without hard work. Students, teachers, administrators, parents and volunteers all play a vital role in the process.

The formula for determining how the state arrives at the rating each year is more confusing than an algebra class. Essentially, education officials judge the performance of each district and each school on a variety of factors that include attendance rates at each school, proficiency test scores, the number of students graduating and the percentage of students passing the Ohio Graduation Test.

Districts must also meet adequate yearly progress goals that are based on state reading and mathematics tests.

Every school receives an individual rating as well, with some schools doing better than their overall district. All these positive results show that rural regions can compete with the larger districts in the state. Ohio's educational system is still far from perfect and the funding system is far from fair but the test results show we can compete through hard work and dedication.

As with many accomplishments in life, we have little time to celebrate. School starts this week for most districts and it will be back to work again.

Still, it makes the work go a little smoother knowing improvement is possible. The sky is truly the limit.

While we cannot hand out dollar bills like mom and dad used to, we can say congratulations on a job well done.