How to Read Ohio State Education Report Cards
We are excited to report our graduation rates continue to meet the state standard, as reflected by the recently published state report card from the Ohio Department of Education.
In addition to our graduation rate results, we are pleased to report that we scored 100 percent on the Third Grade Reading Guarantee, meaning 100 percent of our third grade students are able to read – exceeding the state requirement.
At the middle and high school level, our college prep students completed 735.5 college credits while attending Barberton schools last year – that is the equivalent of 49 semesters, or 12 years of college!
Unfortunately, only one of those three success stories from our school district is included in the calculations for the state report card.
The state is very selective about which information it evaluates and includes in the annual state report card about a school district. Often, some of the best achievements and stories, not just in Barberton but in districts across our county and state, are not included in the state evaluation.
The state has also changed the standardized tests it uses to gather data three times in the past three years, making it challenging for districts to keep up.
Another change from the state is in how the tests are taken. Last school year our district took its tests on computers, because we know that will be the format in future state tests. Barberton, like many other communities in Summit County, is home to many children who do not have regular access to technology such as a computer or laptop at home.
In response to the technology gaps in our community, our district has developed a strategic 1:1 technology initiative designed to provide regular technology access to each and every student during their school day.
We are in year two of a three year plan to provide every student in the district daily access to technology, mostly in the form of a Chromebook.
High school students were all issued a laptop at the beginning of the school year. These students are able to take these computers home and use them throughout their four years at BHS.
The computers that were being used by high school students last year have now been provided to the middle school students for their daily use. Next year – the final year of our plan – will enable us to purchase additional Chromebooks for each student to use at the elementary level.
Part of the rationale behind the state testing is to measure how districts are adjusting to new standards. Because the tests have shifted three times in the past three years, we are working to catch up as quickly as we can. The 1:1 technology effort for each student is a good example of the type of strategy and action we do to keep up with the shifting standards.
These state report cards can be confusing to read and understand. If you’d like a true picture of how effective your community’s school district is please give me a call at 330.753.1025. I am happy to sit down with you to answer your questions and share the many successes our district has every day!