School report cards: Springfield’s graduation rate increases two years in a row

INITIAL CUTLINE: With masks and desks spaced apart, students at Simon Kenton Elementary work on classwork Friday, Feb. 19, 2021.
With masks and desks spaced apart, students at Simon Kenton Elementary worked on classwork earlier this year. State school report cards were released earlier this month and Springfield’s graduation rate was better than last year’s. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

No letter grades issued for COVID-disrupted 2020-21 school year.

State school report cards were released this month.

Ohio’s report card system for K-12 schools usually includes letter grades for overall performance, and for a number of individual metrics — academic achievement, year-over-year progress, graduation rate and much more.

Those letter grades were not included in the report card for the COVID-disrupted 2020-21 school year, but some of the raw data was listed including academic, graduation and attendance measures.

Springfield City Schools had a better four-year graduation rate this year at 84% compared to last year’s 77.7% and 76.7% in 2019, according to state report card data.

For performance index, which measures state test performance, Springfield scored 43.9%. As far as chronic absenteeism, which is when at least 10% of the year’s instructional time is missing, the district had a rate of 57.7. These numbers from last year were not available.

ExploreSee Ohio report card data for your school district

When it comes to the prepared for success component, which is how well-prepared students are for future opportunities, Springfield scored 18.4%. Last year, the district scored 17.5%.

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.

Although Springfield percentages were better this year, Superintendent Bob Hill said “the state standardized test is not a measure of our worth or effort.”

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, the district maintained an in-school option for all students. They were supplied with Apple iPads and hotspots for those who lacked connectivity. We took care of our students and our district without additional staff” he said.

Hill added that they were still concerned for the well-being of the students.

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“On top of all of the worry and concern for our students and staff, we then had to worry about state testing. Schools already utilize internal measures that are timely and provide actionable data to drive and adjust instruction to meet student learning goals. State prescribed tests are redundant and provide unnecessary stress on students and teachers, especially in the middle of a global pandemic,” he said.

Each school and district usually receives 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 cards also usually measure student achievement, performance index, year-over-year growth and gap closing.

Last year, schools got the equivalent of an “incomplete” mark and no A-F letter grades because there was much less data than usual. The report cards only contained 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. The main data categories available last year were graduation rates and high school “prepared for success” measures.

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