School report cards: 8 Clark, Champaign districts score higher on graduation rates than last year

Mechanicsburg High School 2020 graduation. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Mechanicsburg High School 2020 graduation. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

State school report cards were released on Tuesday and although schools did not receive letter grades, data was still available on Clark and Champaign County graduation rates.

The report cards only contain a handful of normal data points as the spring 2020 state tests in English, math, science and social studies were canceled after mid-March coronavirus-related school closures.

Schools got the equivalent of an “incomplete” mark and no A-F letter grades this year, as there is much less data than usual.

The main data categories that were released this year were graduation rates and high school “prepared for success” measures, since that information is reported on a one-year lag, according to the Ohio Department of Education. But even in those components of the report card, schools will only get numerical data and not letter grades.

Springfield City Schools had a slightly better four-year graduation rate at 77.7% compared to last year’s 76.7%.

On the prepared for success component, which is how well-prepared students are for future opportunities, Springfield scored 17.5%. Last year, the district received an "F" grade in this category.

Prepared for success data measures college and career readiness through high school students' ACT/SAT scores, Ohio Honors Diplomas, job industry credentials, College Credit Plus achievement and more.

Last year, Springfield received an overall "F" grade on the state report card.

The Springfield News-Sun reached out to SCSD about the report card data and did not receive a response.

Eight out of the 11 other Clark and Champaign County school districts had graduation rates of over 90%, according to the state report card data.

Northwestern Local School District had the highest Clark County four-year graduation rate at 98.1%, an increase from last year’s 97.4%, and West Liberty-Salem Local School District had the highest Champaign County four-year graduation rate at 97.5%, close to last year’s 97.7%.

“We are always trying to improve the education we provide for our students. We have been looking at the individual needs of our students instead of just test scores and I think that has made a big difference,” said Northwestern Superintendent Jesse Steiner. “I feel that we have an excellent staff and hard-working students. I do not think it was one thing that changed but a lot of things working together that helped us improve."

Clark-Shawnee Local Schools had a rate of 94.8%, close to last year’s 94.6%; Graham Local School District scored 95.8%, an increase from last year’s 93.3%; and Mechanicsburg Exempted Village School District at 95.7%, a decrease from last year’s 100%.

Both Southeastern and Northeastern Local Schools had close rates at 93.8%, an increase from last year’s 88.9%, and 93.6%, a decrease from last year’s 96.8%. Greenon Local Schools scored 91%, a slight increase over last year’s 89.9%, Tecumseh Local Schools rated 89.3%, an increase from last year’s 87.7%.

Triad Local Schools had 89.2%, a decrease from last year’s 93.6%, and Urbana City Schools had 82%, a decrease from last year’s 85.7%.

On the prepared for success component, Clark-Shawnee had the highest Clark County rate at 48.8% and West Liberty-Salem again had the highest Champaign County rate at 49.8%. Last year, both districts received a "D" grade in this category.

Mechanicsburg and Northwestern had the second-highest rates at 48.3% and 48%, followed by Greenon at 46.6%, Northeastern at 39.7%, Graham at 35.8%, Southeastern at 35%, Urbana at 30.4%, Triad at 28.6% and Tecumseh at 27.8%, according to state report card data. The first six districts scored a "D" grade and the last three districts scored an "F" grade in this category last year.

“Mechanicsburg uses multiple measures to determine student growth, achievement and success. The state’s report card system would have been just one of those measures that matter in our community,” said Mechanicsburg Superintendent Danielle Prohaska. “The district continues to monitor all those measures in order to prioritize the learning of all students.”

Last year, Northwestern and Mechanicsburg received an overall "B" grade; Tecumseh, Northeastern, Clark-Shawnee, Southeastern, Graham and Triad received an overall "C" grade; and Greenon and Urbana received an overall "D" grade.

Each school and district usually receive an overall A-F grade on the report cards, and more than half of each school’s overall grade depends on how students perform on state tests each spring. The report card also usually measures student achievement, performance index, year-over-year growth and gap closing.