After a lot of debate over whether grades on this year’s state report card for schools would be lower due to harder tests or higher because the state softened the scale, the answer appears to be a mix.
On the performance index, which adds credit for very high scores and penalizes very low scores, grades are down statewide. After 37 districts got A’s and 434 got B’s on the last report card, this time only 6 got A’s and 176 got B’s.
The majority of Clark and Champaign county schools got Cs on the performance index measure, with two of the top overall performing districts — West Liberty-Salem and Clark-Shawnee — earning Bs. Urbana, Springfield and Graham schools got Ds.
All but the top performers dropped a letter grade from last year’s report card.
But on “test indicators met” — the grade that shows whether districts scored proficient or better on enough tests — there was some increase in grades, with 211 districts statewide earning A’s, compared with 188 the previous year.
Locally, the indicator scores were more mixed. Clark-Shawnee, Mechanicsburg and Triad all improved their letter grades and several districts maintained their scores from last year.
But Greenon, Northeastern and Southeastern all saw their indicator scores drop two full letter grades despite the state school board’s lowering of the standards.
Every student who got at least 33 percent of questions right on these tests was deemed proficient under Ohio’s definition — a softer standard than the PARCC testing group set nationally.
The same pattern of easier grading applied to schools and districts. Rather than needing 80 percent of students to be proficient to “meet a testing indicator,” districts now just have to exceed the state average on that test — usually less than 70 percent.
Staff Writer Jeremy Kelley contributed to this story.
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