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Graduate rate gains please school chiefs

Pandemic leaves annual report without letter grades

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Given the limited data available on the state report cards this year, it can be challenging to gauge how well a particular school or district is performing.

Ohio’s school districts received report cards without letter grades Tuesday as COVID-19 forced them to shut doors and go online in March — disrupting testing that would have occurred in the spring.

This year’s state report cards provide information for each district’s graduation rate and how students are prepared for success, because this information was available at the end of the last school year. Information for improving at-risk K-3 readers is partially available.

No letter grades were given for categories of achievement, progress and gap closing because the schools did not complete the required testing for the 2019-2020 school year.

WARREN

Warren Schools Superintendent Steve Chiaro emphasized the district’s high graduation rate on the state report card.

“The four-year graduation rate, 87.3 percent, and five-year rate, 89.4 percent, data continue to be above both the state average and districts identified by the state to be similar to Warren City Schools,” Chiaro said. “This data has a high level of reliability given it measures student cohorts (groups) prior to the COVID 19 pandemic.”

Additionally, 39.5 percent of the 2017 graduates entered college within two years of graduating high school.

“This both affirms and confirms our commitment and need to prepare our students for college and career readiness,” Chiaro said.

The third-grade data, though, has a much lower level of reliability compared to prior years’ data, he said. That’s because the rules, guidance and requirements for retention for the third grade reading guarantee were modified by the state without having the end-of-the-year assessments.

Warren, according to the report card data, had 99.7 percent of its third-graders achieving required third-grade reading levels

STATEWIDE

Statewide, there has been continued improvement in the high school graduation rate. The four-year graduation rate stands at 85.9 percent for the Class of 2019, up from 85.3 percent the previous year. This is an increase of 7.9 percent since 2010.

More students are meeting the “prepared for success measure, (too).” The statewide percentage has increased to 42 percent with 3,994 more students contributing points to the readiness indicators compared to last year. The statewide percentage has increased every year this measure has been reported — up 7.8 percent since 2016.

Prepared for Success typically represents about 15 percent of report card grades.

There also are gains in industry-recognized credentials and dual enrollment. Nearly 18,200 students in the Classes of 2018 and 2019 earned industry-recognized credentials, an increase of 3,427 from the previous year. The number of students earning dual enrollment credits jumped 6,121 from the year before and has grown 58 percent since 2017.

Districts earn a point when a student achieves a “remediation-free” ACT/SAT, an honors diploma or an industry-recognized credential worth 12 points. They can earn a “bonus” .3 point for advanced placement scores, international baccalaureate scores or College Credit Plus credits.

BROOKFIELD’S APPROACH

Brookfield graduated 92.1 percent of its 2015 ninth-grade class in 2019 and 92.8 percent of its 2014 ninth-grade class by the summer of 2019.

Approximately 49 percent of its 2017 graduating class entered college within two years and 29.9 percent of its 2013 class graduated from college within six years.

“While the state report card has been around for a number of years and usually offers a glimpse at high stakes testing results, right now the Brookfield Local Schools are focusing on caring for our students, families and staff as we continue to maneuver through uncertain times,” Superintendent Toby Gibson said. “We are trying to make sure they have basic needs, social emotional supports, tools for distance learning, supplies to safely attend school in-person, at the same time trying to provide a meaningful and enjoyable education.”

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