Understanding the state's school district report cards can be tricky. Here are five tips to ensure you're reading them for what they're worth. This information can be found on the Ohio Department of Education's website.
1. The Ohio Department of Education rates districts based on how well they perform on 26 state indicators. The ratings include:
• excellent with distinction
• continuous improvement
• academic watch and
• academic emergency
2. Districts must meet the state indicators at the same level as or higher than the state requirement in areas such as graduation rate, attendance rate, Ohio Graduation Tests, and third- through eighth-grade achievement.
3. The Performance Index measures student achievement based on how well each grade does on all test subjects in third through eighth grades, and also the 10th-grade standardized graduation tests. The highest score is 120 points.
4. Value-Added measures the progress districts and schools have made with students over the course of a year, even if the students haven't met proficiency standards. This measure helps highlight areas where students need extra attention, and also shows whether districts are improving even if they didn't meet some of the 26 standards.
5. Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) is a federally required component of Ohio’s accountability system. The measurements illustrate achievement gaps between student subgroups, such as racial and ethnic groups, low-income students, students with disabilities, etc.