Changes to Ohio’s Report Card
The Ohio Department of Education is making significant changes to the report cards annually issued to public schools and school systems across the state. A state-issued summary of these changes and when they take effect can be downloaded here.
Changes to Ohio’s Graduation Rate
In order to meet federal requirements, the State of Ohio has adjusted how it calculates a school district’s Graduation Rate. The Graduation Rate is expressed as a percentage of graduates, which is calculated by taking the total number of students who graduated and dividing this figure by a “Graduation Cohort.”
On previous report cards, the Graduation Cohort was determined using the following calculation:
Number of graduates
Grade 13 graduates
On the next State Report Card, the Graduation Cohort will be determined using this calculation:
First-time ninth graders (from four years earlier)
Students who transferred into the graduating class
Students who transferred out of the graduating class
Simply put, under prior calculations, Ohio determined graduation rates by including students who needed additional time to finish high school. The new calculation, however, includes only those students who graduate within four years. The vast majority of high schools in Ohio expect to see a decrease in their reported graduation rates as a result of this new calculation. Westerville City Schools’ preliminary report card results indicate a slight decrease from the prior year’s reported graduation rate, but the district will continue to meet the state standard.
THIRD GRADE READING GUARANTEE
Last summer, Governor Kasich signed into law Senate Bill 316. Portions of the law are referred to as the “Third Grade Reading Guarantee” and require all Ohio elementary schools to do the following:
By September 30, schools must administer a Reading Diagnostic Assessment to all students in Kindergarten and in Grades 1-3.
In Westerville, Kindergarten students already took the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment for Literacy (KRA-L) at the very start of the year.
Students in Grades 1-3 were assessed using the Fountas & Pinnell Reading Assessment (F&P) by the September 30 deadline.
Based on the results of these assessments, teachers must identify students as being either “on track” or “not on track” to be reading on grade level by the end of the year.
Teachers will compare current assessment results to the end-of-year expectations for the previous grade level.
Districts must notify parents of all students identified as “not on track” with a letter stating that a Reading deficiency exists.
Parents will be invited to school to participate in developing a plan for intervention and monitoring growth. This plan will be updated throughout the school year.
Starting in the 2013-14 school year, any third-grade student who does not meet the benchmark on the Ohio Achievement Assessment, as determined by the Ohio Department of Education, will not be able to be promoted to the fourth grade.
This does not apply to current third graders.
The concept of administering start-of-year Reading assessments to guide instruction and determine interventions is not a new concept in Westerville City Schools. This is good practice, and our teachers have been doing this for quite some time. What is new, however is the practice of identifying students as “not on track.”
Parents with a child identified as "not on track" will receive a letter inviting them to participate in the development of an intervention plan. Their child’s teacher will also provide them with resources and strategies that can be done at home to support the school’s interventions.
If a student is identified as “not on track” at the start of the school year, it does not mean they will not find academic success. Rather, this helps the school identify which students require focused, intensive interventions in order to reach their potential.
Parents with any questions about the requirements of this new legislation should contact their child's principal as they are well-versed in the process being used to comply with the new legislation and are pleased to clarify the details.