Fordham Institute media statement on Ohio report cards 2015-16

School report cards offer important view of student achievement -
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ritical that schools be given continuity moving forward

The Ohio Department of Education today released school report cards for the 2015-16 school year. After a couple tumultuous years, today’s traditional fall report card release reflects a return to normalcy. This year also marked the first year of administration for next-generation exams developed jointly by Ohio educators and the American Institutes for Research (AIR).

“This year’s state testing and report card cycle represents a huge improvement from last year,” said Chad L. Aldis, Vice President for Ohio Policy and Advocacy at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. “Last year’s controversy made it easy to forget the simple yet critical role state assessments and school report cards play. They are, quite simply, necessary, annual checkups to see how well schools are preparing students for college or career.”

“The state tests are designed to measure the extent to which our children are learning so that our students can compete with students around the country and around the globe,” said Andy Boy, Founder and CEO of United Schools Network, a group of high-performing charter schools in Columbus. “If our kids are not where they need to be academically, it’s our responsibility to get them there.”

When it comes to assessment results, state data indicate that roughly three in five Ohio students meet state proficiency standards in math and reading. (Note: Reaching proficient does not indicate meeting rigorous, college and career ready benchmarks.)

 

“Ohio policy makers deserve credit for maintaining high expectations for every student in the state. Unfortunately, this year’s test data suggests too many students are not yet reaching their full potential,” Aldis said. “If Ohio is going to adequately measure the state’s educational progress, it’s critical that the Ohio Department of Education and the General Assembly use this year as a baseline and give schools and districts continuity in both testing and accountability.”

United Schools Network CEO Andy Boy added that this year’s data is “eye-opening. But it’s impossible to be discouraged when you work with amazing educators and students every day. I am excited and determined to meet this next challenge.”

For a detailed analysis on the state’s report card results, including breakdowns of school performance (charter and district), stayed tuned for a comprehensive report on Ohio’s school report cards in late September.