July 25, 2016

Partly sunny

Ohio sends out final ratings of school districts

From staff and wire reports

COLUMBUS — Ohio’s final school report cards show no changes in the overall ratings of the seven districts serving Medina County students.

Wadsworth, Highland and Cloverleaf remain graded “excellent with distinction” — the highest rating.

Buckeye, Medina and Brunswick received the second highest grade — “excellent.” Black River was rated “effective.”

The Ohio Department of Education released additional data Wednesday from the 2011-12 state report cards.

Preliminary grades were released last fall. But the final report cards for Ohio’s 614 traditional public school districts have been delayed since August after Ohio Auditor Dave Yost launched a statewide attendance-tampering investigation.

The Education Department posted two final elements of the school assessments Wednesday: the overall performance index for each district and building and the “value-added” measure that rates students’ annual academic growth.

The assessments give parents and other members of the public a snapshot of each school’s year-over-year performance and how it compares with state education standards.

Amid an investigation into school attendance tampering, the state Board of Education opted last year to delay release of the assessments, known as state report cards. Board members said they were concerned that widespread inaccuracies may exist in attendance data that could have compromised the rankings.

The auditor’s review found that nine districts removed poor-performing students from their rolls in attempts to improve performance ratings that can impact federal funding and employee bonuses.

Rankings for those nine districts with apparent irregularities were flagged in Wednesday’s report cards as the department re-examines their attendance data.

Those districts and all their schools have a watermark added to their reports, indicating that the results are subject to change pending further investigation.

The latest ratings of public school performance show that schools made strong academic gains in eighth-grade math and science, but the assessments also found that the performance of minorities and economically disadvantaged students remained low in the state.

Ohio’s performance index scale ranges from “academic emergency” to “excellent with distinction.”

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The Gazette is Medina County's daily local news source, serving the community since 1832. Contact The Gazette's news department at (330) 721-4065 or areanews@medina-gazette.com.