Evaluating the state report cards of local school districts - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Evaluating the state report cards of local school districts

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The grades are in for Ohio's public school districts and there have been a lot of changes when it comes to the scores, the tests and the standards in the last three years.

So what should you look for in evaluating your district? 21 News spoke with a local education professional who studies many of the local report cards.

"I think it's really important if people are really very interested in the report card to do some comparison between last year's report card and this year's report card," said Kim Davis, Director of Teaching and Learning at the Mahoning County Educational Service Center 

Davis crunches the numbers to help local districts make decisions on how to meet state standards.  "One of the areas I think where districts have shown the most improvement is in indicators met," she said. 

However, the benchmark of indicators met, which is a factor of the achievement grade, went up this year. Now 80 percent of students have to pass the test in subjects that include English, math, and science.

"Some of them went up as much as 13 or 14 percent. So even if a district made, in most cases, significant improvements, it's not really reflected on the report card this year because they raised that bar again," Davis said.

Davis said that their office evaluated the data from all of the schools across the state. Their preliminary findings are that more than 80 percent of schools had an F in indicators met.  

Boardman received an F and met 10 indicators this year but would have met 17 under last year's standards, according to Davis. 

Austintown got an F and met two but would have met six in the previous year. 

Another trend that Davis has observed in Mahoning County is significant growth in gap closing.

Last year most districts had mainly Ds and Fs but this year there are mainly Bs and Cs.

"I consider it a very important measure on the report card because it really takes a look at all students. It looks at subgroups such as the economically disadvantaged, students with disabilities, also minority students and making sure that they are making progress to close that gap between the subgroups and all students," Davis said. 

The full listing of all Valley schools, as well as a breakdown of what each score measures, can be found here

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