Report cards show schools with promise
Graduation rates are on the rise
Given the limited data available on the state report cards this year, it can be challenging to gauge how well a particular school or district is performing.
Ohio’s school districts received report cards without letter grades Tuesday, because COVID-19 forced them to shut doors and go online in March — disrupting testing that normally would have occurred in the spring.
This year’s state report cards provide information for each district’s graduation rate and how students are prepared for success because this information was available at the end of the last school year. Information for improving at-risk K-3 readers is partially available.
No letter grades were given for categories of achievement, progress and gap closing because the schools did not complete the required testing for the 2019-20 school year.
Youngstown schools’ four-year graduation rate on this report card is 88 percent, compared to 84.9 percent the previous year. The five-year rate also improved to 87.6 percent, compared to 80.5 percent last year.
“We’re not satisfied with those numbers, obviously, but they show improvement,” school district CEO Justin Jennings said. “The percentages show progress and that we’re moving in the right direction.”
Youngstown Rayen Early College High School continues to shine with a 100 percent graduation rate for both four- and five-year students.
Chaney High School’s latest four-year graduation rate is 90.3 percent and its five-year rate is 94.4 percent.
At East High, the latest graduation rates are 82.7 percent for four-year and 78.7 percent for five-year graduation.
“We know we still have a lot of work to do to get to where we want to be and to where our scholars and this community deserve their school district to be,” Jennings said. “School district transformation doesn’t happen overnight.”
Nearly all of its third-grade readers, 99.7 percent, were reading at grade level, according to the report card.
Approximately 34 percent of the 2017 graduating class entered college within two years. Of the 2013 graduating class, 8.3 percent graduated college within six years of leaving high school.
Statewide, high school graduation rates have continued to improve. The four-year graduation rate stands at 85.9 percent for the Class of 2019, up from 85.3 percent the previous year. This is an increase of 7.9 percent since 2010.
More students are meeting the prepared for success measure, too. The statewide percentage has increased to 42 percent with 3,994 more students contributing points to the readiness indicators compared to last year. The statewide percentage has increased every year this measure has been reported — up 7.8 percent since 2016.
Prepared for success typically represents about 15 percent of report card grades.
There are also gains in industry-recognized credentials and dual enrollment. Nearly 18,200 students in the Classes of 2018 and 2019 earned industry-recognized credentials, an increase of 3,427 from the previous year. The number of students earning dual enrollment credits jumped 6,121 from the year before and has grown 58 percent since 2017.
Campbell schools Superintendent Matt Bowen has continued to discuss improvements on the district’s report card scores.
This year’s report card showed its four- and five-year graduation rate being above 91 percent and all of its third-grade students achieving the requirements for promotion to the fourth grade.
Nearly 44 percent of the 2017 graduating class entered college within two years after graduating. Approximately 15 percent graduated from college witihin six years of leaving high school.
The Campbell district uses a vendor-approved assessment, i-Ready. This is an ongoing assessment that takes place, which is “very much aligned to the state test,” he explained.
Bowen said that regardless of the state tests being suspended, it does not mean the district stops talking about student data and performance.
He said the district is “making every effort to adjust curriculum where needed” for students’ needs, based on data.