Ohio's school district rating system has been getting criticism lately, and for good reason: the category of Continuous Improvement (a "C" rating) is so broad that it is nearly meaningless.
The graph below illustrates how many indicators were met by 79 school districts receiving a "C" on the 2008-09 state report card. Districts can meet up to 30 indicators, which are based on achievement test scores, graduation and attendance rates.
Number of performance indicators met by Ohio districts with a "C" rating, 2008-2009
Source: Ohio Department of Education
While nearly a fifth of "C" districts met barely any indicators (0-8), another four percent met nearly all of their performance indicators yet still received the same letter grade.
Confused? So are a lot of people. ??
Kettering City Schools met 29 out of 30 performance indicators while Marion City Schools met zero indicators, yet both received a "C" from the state. The reason for Kettering's low grade, as Emmy describes, is that they failed to make AYP with English language learners and special education students. Without this AYP provision in Ohio's rating system, Kettering would have ranked four categories higher, or Excellent with Distinction ("A+"). ??
Conversely, districts such as Columbus, Akron, and Cincinnati get a bump up in their ratings because they did make AYP, despite only meeting 6 indicators.??????
In a recent letter to the Dayton Daily News, Terry cautions...