Ohio’s new school rating system already shocking many
Yesterday we wrote about Ohio’s recent waiver application to the U.S. Department of Education for relief from parts of the federal No Child Left Behind act and the proposed revamping of the state’s reporting system for schools and districts. We also warned that many parents, teachers, and students would be shocked by the results and that there would be a push to water down the new system, insisting that it is unfair and not accurate.
As we predicted, there have been several articles describing the coming changes and what they mean for districts across the state. The Columbus Dispatch today quoted the superintendent of Bexley City Schools, a suburb of Columbus, as saying, “I don’t know how a high-performing district like ours and many others gets a B?” “It might be a way of communicating in the simplest way but you miss a whole lot.” Bexley, currently rated Excellent with Distinction, would fall to a B under the new system. Superintendents of currently high-performing districts in Montgomery County will also see a decline in their academic rating under the new system. Of the 28 districts in Montgomery that received a rating of Excellent with Distinction or Excellent on the last report card, only three (Oakwood, Miami East, and Mason) would receive an A with the new system.
We expected to see district leaders, teachers, and parents to be surprised at how their districts and schools fare under the new system. As Marc Schare, a member of the Worthington Board of Education stated, “The notion that so many school districts in Ohio could be rated excellent or effective is simply not possible given the remediation rates from kids going on to Ohio colleges.” There will surely be much more backlash in the coming months, but moving forward with this improved and honest rating system is the right thing to do for our kids and their future.
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May 8, 2013