Area districts meet expectations on report cards


By Drew Stambaugh - dstambaugh@aimmediamidwest.com



The Ohio Department of Education released school report cards on Thursday and most area districts received Bs and Cs overall.

Swanton received an overall rating of C on the report card, along with Wauseon, Pettisville, and Fayette in Fulton County. Delta, Evergreen, and Archbold each received a B overall. Ottawa Hills was the only area district to receive an A.

“Our overall district grade was a C, which is where we have been for the last few years,” said Swanton Superintendent Chris Lake. “It also means that we are meeting ODE’s expectations.”

The superintendent said district officials are just starting to dig into the data, adding there are encouraging signs and things they would like to take a closer look at.

“Off the top of my head, I believe the Gap Closing grade (B) is a positive sign that we are helping to close achievement gaps for different groups of kids,” said Lake. “The district was above state average for all groups in that category. We have a solid graduation rate.”

Educators from around the state have continually told residents not to place undue importance on the report cards.

“The state report card is one metric by which we measure the district’s performance,” said Lake. “It is not the sole indicator of our success or failure, it is just another source of data that we can put to good use.”

He also cited improvement in multiple test score areas.

“Our district leadership team will do a deeper dive on the report card data and use it help refine some of the initiatives that we are pursing to help boost student achievement across the board,” said Lake.

Wauseon Superintendent Troy Armstrong specifically cited an issue with the Prepared for Success indicator not including students who are serving in the military, earning a living wage, or engaged in a meaningful self-sustaining vocation, despite those outcomes being part of Ohio’s Strategic Plan for Education.

“In my opinion, the state report cards need to be eliminated to allow districts to set district specific goals and demonstrate success via data,” said Armstrong.

The Ohio Education Association (OEA) also urged state lawmakers to enact reforms that would end the use of arbitrary letter grades that are biased against low income districts.

“It is past time to end the use of confusing and misleading state report cards in Ohio,” said OEA President Scott DiMauro. “We need a new report card system that is fair, informative, and transparent.

“It’s widely recognized that the current report cards rely too heavily on standardized tests and counter-intuitive methodologies that are stacked against low-income districts. As the work continues to fix the flawed state report cards, efforts must also be made to do more to overcome the barriers to learning that are caused by poverty.”

Full report card data is available at https://reportcard.education.ohio.gov/.

By Drew Stambaugh

dstambaugh@aimmediamidwest.com