By Denise Dick
Ohio is changing the way it rates schools and school-district performance starting this year.
State education officials say the new approach will give parents a clearer picture of how schools and districts are performing.
Here are 10 things you need to know about the changes:
1Rather than the ratings of “Academic Emergency,” “Academic Watch,” “Continuous Improvement,” “Effective,” “Excellent” or “Excellent with Distinction,” the new system will assign letter grades — A, B, C, D, F — to schools and districts.
11“It paints a more complete picture of where we are,” Richard Ross, state superintendent of public instruction, said Wednesday.
He acknowledged that the scores for most districts will appear lower but says it’s not a “gotcha” for schools and school districts.
“It’s an opportunity for us to be aspirational,” Ross said. “As a former school superintendent, I know what it takes to run a school district, and change is not easy.”
111Letter grades will be associ- ated with each category.
5 State officials say a C grade in some areas of value-added is good, but it’s not so good in others.
Value-added measures a year’s growth of students. For gifted students, a C would indicate students met a year’s worth of growth. For students who are in the lowest 20 percent in achievement, a C would indicate not enough had changed in the past year, and they are still below proficient.
1Should they not meet that expectation, a lower grade will be given to the school.
“This change signals that more students are expected to be at least proficient,” ODE’s descriptions about the change says.
11“The higher the student’s level, the more points the school applies toward its index,” ODE’s website says. “This rewards schools and districts that improve the performance of highest and lowest performing students.”
1The new system allows people to see the areas where higher-graded schools need to improve as well as the bright spots in struggling districts, Gunlock said.