Most Clark, Champaign schools meet state standards in latest round of Ohio report cards

Springfield City Schools rated the lowest in area and among lowest in state, but Hill sees positives.

New report card ratings released by the Ohio Department of Education show several Clark County and Champaign County districts received an overall rating of 4 or higher based on a new 1- to 5-star rating, with 5 being the highest.

All 12 public school districts in the two counties on Thursday were rated overall between 2 and 4.5 stars.

Springfield City School District rated the lowest locally at 2 stars, which was among the worst scores in the state. Superintendent Bob Hill emphasized progress the district made.

Mechanicsburg Exempted Village Schools and West Liberty-Salem Schools received the highest ratings locally at 4.5 stars.

An overall rating of at least 3 stars means a district or school meets state standards, according to the Ohio Department of Education.

The grading system has changed over the years. Districts previously had been given an A-F letter grade for overall performance, but had not had an overall grade since 2019 because of COVID.

Ohio K-12 schools in 2022-23 were rated on individual components of the report card with no overall grade, and the Ohio legislature changed the system to a 1-5 stars system.

Schools were evaluated on how well their students did on state tests, reading proficiency in kindergarten through third grade, graduation rates, how students are progressing year over year, how well schools can close gaps between student subgroups, and how ready a student is to enter the workforce, college, or the military after graduation. However, the rating system puts increased weight on year-over-year progress and gap closing.

In Clark County, three of the seven schools — Clark-Shawnee, Greenon and Southeastern — had overall ratings of 4 stars. Northwestern and Tecumseh had a rating of 3.5 stars overall, and Northeastern had a 3, though it is challenging part of the state’s data.

“The ratings are reflective of the work we have done as a district,” said Clark-Shawnee Superintendent Brian Kuhn. “Our report card says that Clark-Shawnee exceeds state standards, and we aim to continue to increase student achievement.”

Springfield’s overall rating of 2 was third-lowest in the state in overall ratings out of 607 districts. Springfield locally had the lowest star ratings across each category with a 2, except a 1 in progress and early literacy.

Although the district had low ratings, Hill said Springfield improved two of their four overall ratings of gap closing and graduation, rating a 2 in those categories instead of a 1 last year, and increased student performance in 10 of 20 tested areas.

“Despite the many challenges our students face and the direct correlation between poverty and academic performance, our dedicated team of educators and support staff work tirelessly to ensure that they are receiving the best while they are in our care – the best facilities, the best lunches, the best education, the best educators, and the best supportive practices,” he said.

As for the other categories, Southeastern Local Schools had the highest star rating in achievement and gap closing with a 4; Clark-Shawnee, Greenon and Tecumseh Local Schools had the highest star ratings in progress with a 4; and Northwestern Local Schools had the highest rating in graduation and early literacy with a 5 and 4, respectively.

“(Our report card) shows great consistency with some strong scores,” said Southeastern Superintendent David Shea. “Each district is always trying to max out its potential, and I think there’s potential to grow in all areas and we’ll work in doing that.”

Northwestern Superintendent Jesse Steiner said their report card shows they’re meeting state standards.

“Over the last few years, we have implemented many academic changes to improve student learning. We are still working to close the learning gaps that were created during the pandemic. Our diagnostic data shows that we are on the right path, and students are growing academically,” he said.

Northeastern Local Schools’ scored a 3 in all categories, except a 1 in graduation rate with a 7.3% four-year graduation rate for 2022, which is a data error.

The district previously identified a reporting issue that impacted the 2022 graduation rate and initiated communication with the ODE to address this matter, said Assistant Superintendent Shawn Blazer. They are working to fix the issue and determine if any other components have been impacted.

“Due to the reporting issue, we are experiencing challenges in providing an accurate breakdown of our star ratings. As a result, our graduation rating and gap closing rating have been affected, which directly impacts our overall stars rating,” he said.

Blazer pointed out that the district’s trend for their graduation rate has “historically been in the mid-90% range.”

In Champaign County, most schools’ star ratings were above 3 in all categories, with Mechanicsburg and West Liberty-Salem rating overall the highest with a 4.5, and Urbana scoring the lowest with a 3.

“Our success is due to multiple factors including how we use multiple sources of data, set professional development priorities, and allocate time and resources to promote deep learning experiences across all grade levels,” said Mechanicsburg Superintendent Danielle Prohaska.

West Liberty-Salem rated the highest with a 5 in achievement; Graham and Mechanicsburg rated the highest with a 4 in progress; and those three districts also scored the highest with a 5 in gap closing. Triad and West Liberty-Salem scored the highest with a 5 in graduation, and all districts scored a 3 in early literacy.

“I am proud of our staff for the work they have put in to support our students and the growth that our students have shown,” said Graham Superintendent Chad Lensman. “We have a clear focus as a district, leading to improved percentages and ratings.”

As for the lowest scores, Urbana rated a 2 in graduation and Triad also rated a 2 in progress.

State Report Card for schools, 2022-23

CLARKOverallPerform. Index %Progress4-year grad rateEnrollment
Greenon4 Stars76.84 Stars96.61,576
Clark-Shawnee4 Stars79.14 Stars96.71,685
Southeastern4 Stars80.83 Stars96.8689
Northwestern3.5 Stars75.02 Stars98.41,547
Tecumseh3.5 Stars73.14 Stars89.32,672
Northeastern3 Stars77.83 Stars**2,970
Springfield2 Stars52.61 Star85.67,029
CHAMPAIGNOverallPerform. Index %Progress4-year grad rateEnrollment
Mechanicsburg4.5 Stars85.54 Stars93.1822
W.Liberty-Salem4.5 Stars90.23 Stars97.81,167
Graham4 Stars79.04 Stars96.71,529
Triad3.5 Stars80.72 Stars98.5772
Urbana3 Stars70.63 Stars81.81,794
Source: Ohio Department of Education. Notes: Northeastern was listed with a graduation rate of 7.3%, which appears to be a data error and is being explored. …… Overall rating combines test achievement, year-over-year progress, graduation rate, early literacy scores and gap closing (a complex combination of student subgroup performances) …… Performance Index % measures students' pure achievement on state tests …… Progress shows how students have improved year-over-year on state tests.

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