Understanding State Testing
The State Report Card ratings came out last month and we at Barberton Schools were unhappy to receive two Fs out of the nine graded components. It is particularly disappointing to our teachers who have been working very hard to increase student achievement, particularly with our students who have identified disabilities, so we take these ratings very seriously and will strive to improve them.
We do want to clarify, however, some of the misconceptions that parents and community members may have about the new way the State is rating school districts.
This year we were given nine grades on the report card, ranging from A-F. The state will, in the future, give us one overall grade. By our calculations, if all components are weighed equally, Barberton would have an overall grade of C. Of course, we will not be happy until we earn all As.
To get an A in the testing indicators (this was the component that was highlighted heavily in the media), we must have an 80% passage in reading and math at each tested grade level. In Barberton, 78% of our students passed reading and 71% passed math, so we are given an F. If we get 80% in each grade and subject, we receive an A. This is confusing to the public and to school personnel as well.
Based on the same state tests, we earned an A in Progress, or in growth individual students make from one year to the next. This component has been called the "school effect." This grade is very important because it shows that our teachers are instructing students at a high level and using best-practice teaching strategies.
Three years ago our 4-year graduation rate was 75%, this year it is 83%, which was graded by the State as a D. Our 5-year graduation rate is 90%, for which we received a C.
It is particularly confusing because based on the same State tests, and very similar scores on these tests, we were graded as "Excellent" two years ago. However, we will continue to analyze and interpret the report card results in order to improve instruction.
While we need to find ways to improve student achievement, I am very proud of what I see in the classrooms. I see caring, motivated teachers and administrators who work very hard each day. I see parent volunteers helping in the classrooms and students who are proud to be Magics. We will always work hard to improve each year, but I truly believe that Barberton is an "Excellent" school district!- See more at: http://www.barbertonschools.org/protected/ArticleView.aspx?iid=6YY0IPB&dasi=4GG3B#sthash.XTwmACZ5.dpuf