Preliminary Youngstown school test results shoot up

By Denise Dick


Ohio Graduation Test results are preliminary but show double-digit increases for Youngstown City Schools in all but two areas.

“We are in a positive trajectory,” Douglas Hiscox, deputy superintendent for academic affairs, told the Youngstown City Schools Academic Distress Commission on Thursday.

He stressed that the data is raw. It doesn’t include special- education test scores and some other elements.

“But we’ve seen significant gains,” Hiscox said. “We’ve seen double-digit percentage gains in all areas but two.”

High school students must pass all five parts of the test to graduate. Younger students take the Ohio Achievement Assessment, the results of which aren’t in yet.

The two areas of decline were social studies at Chaney Campus which dropped about 9 percent, and writing at East High School, which slipped slightly.

At Chaney, reading increased by 15 percent, math by 16 percent, writing by 8 percent and science by 12 percent.

At East, reading scores increased 13 percent, math 10 percent, science 13 percent and social studies nearly 8 percent.

“I hope I can come back in August and make it official,” Hiscox said.

Adrienne O’Neill, commission chairwoman, attributed the gains to teachers instructing students on grade level, rather than instructing students in lessons or information intended for those in lower grades because those students haven’t learned or don’t know the material.

The message of Michael Garvey, commission member, for the improvement was simple: “Thank you.”

This year the state is changing the Ohio Report Card so that it will no longer use the system of designating schools and districts in categories from “academic emergency” to “excellent with distinction.” The state is converting to letter grades over the next few years.

But O’Neill said the commission will view the official test data using the new system as well as the old.

In other business, commission members voted unanimously to terminate the contract of an administrator. Earlier this week, Superintendent Connie Hathorn had recommended to the city school board that the contracts of three administrators not be renewed because of performance.

Board members approved two of those recommendations, but because of a 3-3 vote, the contract of the third administrator, Pamela Logan, supervisor for special education, was renewed.

The commission passed a resolution terminating her contract.

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