By Amanda Tonoli
Youngstown City Schools CEO Krish Mohip said he doesn’t anticipate dramatic improvement in letter grades on the Ohio Department of Education state report card but hopes to see improvement in student growth.
Mohip said it takes three years just for change to get underway.
“A transformation like this is not three-year process,” he said. “It’s more of a five- to seven-year process.”
The report cards, expected to come out Thursday, show districts’ and schools’ scores for six components in the 2016-17 school year. The components are Achievement, Progress, Gap Closing, Graduation Rate, K-3 Literacy and Prepared for Success.
Within each component, the ODE has given letter grades for many individual measures.
New this year will be an overall grade for each district.
Also, there is a Value Added component, which is an “analysis [that] helps educators measure the impact schools and teachers have on students’ academic progress rates from year to year. Ohio selected a value-added measure that provides educators with information on how they can use data to focus instruction,” according to the ODE website.
On the 2016-17 report card Youngstown City Schools earned two B’s, one C, one D and 12 F’s. The district is under the auspices of Ohio House Bill 70, which put Mohip, overseen by a state-appointed academic-distress commission, in control of the school system.
Mohip said, however, that there is growth.
“When there’s enough growth you’ll see proficiency scores improve,” he said.
“When you start the year two years behind it’s hard to get people excited about improvements,” said John Laplante, Youngstown schools chief information officer.
The report cards, Mohip said, set the tone of the measure the district is chasing.
“Proficiency will come,” he said. “We’re striving for every single student in this district. You have to ask, ‘How much does a student learn while they’re in a district?’”
That goes for students both below and above grade level.
Austintown Superintendent Vince Colaluca also doesn’t anticipate dramatic changes in the upcoming state report card.
“We are kind of in the same boat where we’ve been in the past with the way the report card is,” he said.
Colaluca said he is aware the State Board of Education is looking to make changes to the way the report card is calculated, but none of the changes affects this one.
He expects to do well in the Value Added component.
On the 2016-17 report card Austintown earned five A’s, three B’s, five C’s, two D’s and one F.
“The biggest thing to remember is that the report card is just a one-time picture of the district,” Colaluca said. “We will look at it and take it seriously, but also we encourage people to consider other factors that go into developing well-rounded citizens for the Austintown community and the Mahoning Valley.”
Austintown schools will keep doing what they do well and make changes where necessary, he said.
Other districts have high expectations for improvement.
Jarod Cardillo, Boardman schools director of instruction, said he expects to see continued growth.
“We are definitely trending in the right direction,” he said. “It’s a journey, not a destination, but we will continue to strive to bring our grades up.”
On the 2016-17 report card, Boardman received three A’s, one B, five C’s, one D and six F’s.
David Janofa, Poland schools superintendent, said he expects Poland to do well again.
On the 2016-17 report card Poland received five A’s, five B’s and four C’s. Grades weren’t assessed for two measures.
“Some areas on the report card — we know adjustments were made at the state [level] and ... how late the changes were occurring – might show an area we have an issue with, but we have great expectations we will again be in high-performing districts across the state,” he said.