System needs clarity

Published 10:07 am Thursday, April 28, 2016

Recently, the South Point school district celebrated getting the highest rating on the state report card of all the schools in the district.

Each year, the Ohio Department of Education gives out its review of how school districts are doing educating their students.

There are multiple criteria that the department of education uses to judge all the schools whether they are elementary or high school.

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Much of the ratings are based on the yearly state testing results, and while getting a good grade is satisfying for the educators and their students, some times those outside the academic realm do not understand how the grades are derived.

Now there are two Republicans who are considered among the most influential in the statehouse on education matters want to change that.

Representatives Ryan Smith, of our area, and Bob Cupp have introduced a one-paragraph bill that calls for a review of the value-added system.

They are not looking for immediate changes. They are not even saying the system is wrong or right. What they want is to have an indepth evaluation.

“I don’t particularly understand it,” Cupp, representative for Lima, has said. “I think it will be an opportunity to inform. I think there’s a lot of broad-based questions about it.”

The whole idea behind the system is to show whether a district is providing a year’s worth of growth to its students. That measurement is vital for students. Because if the district isn’t, it needs to change how it teaches.

The legislators are wise in not wanting to make immediate changes, but also in wanting to understand these grading methods.