It can be extremely difficult deciding where to send your child to school. Trust me...I know! My daughter is only 3 years old and I’m already fervently trying to decide where she will attend Kindergarten!
One measure to use when selecting the best fit learning environment for your child is the Local Report Card. Ohio’s Local Report Card measures every public school’s performance year to year. This blog post will help you understand the six components assessed on the Local Report Card. Ideally, this information will assist you in making a more informed decision regarding where your child will receive his/her K-12 schooling.
This article won’t give the extensive version of calculations, but it will help you understand why Ohio issues a local report card and what is being measured.
Let’s take a look:
The screenshot above was taken directly from the Ohio Department of Education’s website as an example of what the local report card looks like.
The following are brief descriptions of each graded component. You can find brief descriptors directly on the report card. The descriptors below have been worded for easy understanding.
Achievement: How well students perform on state standardized tests
Progress: How well schools/districts are growing students based on past performance
Gap Closing: How well the school/district is closing the achievement gap for certain subgroups of students (Special Education students, English Learners, Economically Disadvantaged students, etc.)
Graduation Rate: How well the school or district is graduating students in 4-5 years (note: Ohio has multiple Dropout Prevention and Recovery Schools that serve students who may have aged out of that 4-5 year graduation period.)
Improving At-Risk K-3 Readers: How well the school is improving reading skills for struggling readers (THIS IS CRITICAL WHEN TRYING TO DECIDE WHERE YOUR CHILD WILL ATTEND KINDERGARTEN- THIRD GRADE)
Prepared for Success: How well the school prepares students for college, careers, or military immediately following high school
2018 is the first year that schools received overall letter grades.
At first glance, your child’s school report card may scare you, but keep digging deeper into the data.
Let’s take a look at Columbus City Schools for instance.
The district, as a whole, received an alarming amount of Fs across the board. Consider though, that the district is a large, urban district made up of the following demographics:
Columbus City Schools reports that 100% of the students they serve are economically disadvantaged, over half of their student population is Black/African American and the district has a high mobility rate (meaning students move in and out of the district and often don’t spend the majority of the year in the district).
Columbus City School District also served over 50,000 students during the 2017-2018 school year.
The report card shown below is from the Olentangy School District which is made up of 75% White students, 4% Black students, 6.6% of economically disadvantaged students and a much lower mobility rate.
Olentangy serves over 20,000 students for the 2017-2018 school year.
See any differences?
My recommendation is that you look deeply into your child’s school-specific data. Columbus City School District obviously struggles, no one can deny that. However, there are some schools within the district that shine:
Gables Elementary School: Exceeded expectations for all subgroups of students. This school is a highlight because they’ve shown incredible progress in closing the achievement gap for English learning students, Economically disadvantaged students, and Hispanic students.
It is important to mention though, that the school has a very small Black student population.
Ridgeview Middle School: hails a pretty diverse student population and shows promise in growing students. The school received an A in the Progress component. Students are making significant progress in 6th and 8th grade math and reading at Ridgeview Middle School.
Columbus Alternative High School: Students at CAHS made more than expected progress in high school English and Mathematics I. CAHS received an A rating for the progress the school made for students with disabilities, gifted students, and students in the lowest 20% of achievement statewide. High expectations go a long way!
BIG PICTURE: There’s NO PERFECT SCHOOL. The local report card is just one way to measure a school’s progress. As parents, we know our children best. Therefore, select the school that is the best-fit for your child’s needs. If they’re an elementary student, the ability to become a strong reader is crucial. Look at how well schools and districts are performing on the Improving At Risk K-3 Readers Component as well as how well they are growing students (Progress component).
Middle and High School parents will have to take into consideration many factors on the local report card: graduation rate, prepared for success, progress, etc.
Overall, do your research. Find the best fit. VISIT THE SCHOOL! And PRAY! Your love and nurturing support will do the rest of the work!
Let’s take a look at the overall school report card grades across central Ohio!
Bexley City School District A
Canal Winchester Local School District D
Columbus City School District F
Delaware City School District C
Dublin City School District B
Gahanna Jefferson Public Schools B
Grandview Heights City School District A
Grove Madison Local School District C
Hamilton Local School District C
Hilliard City Schools C
Licking Heights Local School District D
New Albany-Plain Local School District A
Olentangy Local School District B
Pickerington Local School District B
Reynoldsburg City School District D
Southwest Licking C
Southwestern City School District D
Upper Arlington Schools B
Westerville City School District C
Whitehall City School District D
Worthington City Schools B
Considering a FREE, public community (charter) school? There are multiple strong options in the Central Ohio area. Here are a few:
Cornerstone Academy B
United Preparatory Academy B
KIPP: Columbus C
Graham Elementary School C
To find Ohio’s Local Report Card for Schools and Districts visit https://reportcard.education.ohio.gov/
Type in the school or district name and view results.
For additional support, reach out via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be happy to support you in understanding your child’s school report card.