Schools fail to make the grades


By Nikki Blankenship - nblankenship@aimmediamidwest.com



School report cards are out, and many area districts are struggling on key measures. Though districts such as Portsmouth City Schools struggled on several areas including graduation rates, most schools struggled with achievement indicators. Additionally, gap closing measures show districts are also struggling to help at risk students reach the same benchmarks as the rest of the student population.

“Ohio School Report Cards give your community a clear picture of the progress of your district and schools in raising achievement and preparing students for the future. The information measures district and school performance in the areas most critical to success in learning. Ohio School Report Cards data shows educators, school administrators and families where their schools are succeeding as well as areas where they need to improve,” the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) explained.

School report cards provide scoring for districts and individual school buildings within districts. Schools and districts are graded on six categories including achievement, progress,gap closing, graduation rate, K-3 literacy and prepared for success.

According to the ODE, “The Department gives letter grades on each of the six components and most of the individual measures. This will help give Ohio parents and schools an even more complete snapshot of the quality of education they are providing their children.”

The achievement component is determined by the number of student who pass state testing requirements. Progress looks are students growth in comparison to previous performances. Gap closing focuses on the most at risk students and a district’s ability to help these students meet standards in English, language arts, math and graduation. Graduation rates are based upon the number of students to attain their high school diploma. The K-3 literacy components aims to help struggling readers achieve reading indicators through third grade. Finally, the prepared for success measure looks at students’ preparedness for a technical school, work or college.

Achievement scores for nearly every school in the county were struggling. Only two districts earned a letter grade better than a D. Both Wheelersburg and Bloom-Vernon local school districts earned C’s for achievement.

Wheelersburg also earned a B in progress, gap closing and literacy. The district earned a C in its ability to prepare students for the future. However, graduation rates are on track, earning an A for the component with 97.2 percent of students graduating in four years and 99 percent graduating in five years.

By school, Wheelersburg Elementary earned a B in achievement, an A in gap closing and a B in literacy; Wheelersburg Middle School earned a C in achievement, a B in progress and a C in gap closing; Wheelersburg High School earned a C in achievement, a B in progress, an A in graduation rates and an F in gap closing. All other indicators were not rated.

Minford Local School District earned a D in most components including achievement, gap closing, progress and preparedness. In fact, the only area the district earned higher than a D in was graduation rate. Minford earned an A for graduation rates with 93.4 students graduating in four years and 94.6 graduating in five years.

By building, Minford High School (MHS) earned a D in achievement, progress and in preparing students for the future. Both Minford Middle School and MHS also earned an F for gap closing. The middle school also had D scores for achievement and progress. Minford Primary School also had D score for achievement but earned a C for gap closing.

Only one district struggled with graduation rates. Portsmouth City School District earned a D for graduation rates, with 79.6 percent of students graduating in four years and 88.5 graduating in five years. All districts earned A’s for graduation rates excluding Portsmouth, Green and New Boston. Both Green and New Boston earned B’s in graduation. 89.3 percent of New Boston students graduated within four years, and 93.8 completed in five years. In the Green Local School District, 88.9 percent of students graduated in four years, and 95.7 percent graduated in five years.

As a district, Portsmouth City Schools earned poor scores for every component excluding a B in progress. The district earned a D in achievement, F in gap closing, D in K-3 literacy and F in prepared for success.

Portsmouth City Schools include East Portsmouth Elementary, Portsmouth Elementary and Portsmouth Junior/High School. Of all the schools, Portsmouth Elementary scored the lowest with a D in achievement, a D in progress, a D in K-3 literacy and an F in gap closing. East Portsmouth Elementary and Portsmouth Junior/High School earned D’s in achievement, B’s in progress and F’s in gap closing. East Portsmouth also received an F in K-3 literacy, and the high school got an F for preparedness.

Green earned a D in achievement, F in gap closing, A in literacy, B in progress, and D in preparedness. Green Elementary and High received D’s in achievement and F’s in gap closing. The elementary school also had a C in progress. The high school had a B in progress and a D in student preparedness. Green Primary was only measured on one component, scoring an A in K-3 literacy.

As a district, New Boston earned a D in achievement, B in gap closing, B in literacy, D in both progress and prepared for success. The New Boston District includes Glenwood High School, Oak Intermediate Elementary and Stanton Primary. Glenwood and Oak both earned D’s in achievement while Stanton earned a C. Glenwood also received a B in progress, a C in gap closing and a D in being prepared for success. Oak Intermediate earned a D in progress and a B in gap closing. Stanton also earned an A in gap closing and a B in literacy.

Washington-Nile (Portsmouth West), Northwest, Valley and Clay all earned a D for achievement. Washington-Nile an F in gap closing, C in literacy, D in being prepared for success and B in progress. By school, Portsmouth West Elementary, High and Middle schools earned D’s in achievement. The elementary school earned an F in progress, an F in gap closing and a C in literacy. West Middle earned an A in progress and F in gap closing. West High earned a D in progress, a D in gap closing and a D in preparing students for success.

Northwest also earned a D for gap closing, B for literacy, D for being prepared for success and D for progress. By school, Northwest Elementary earned a C in achievement, F in progress, B in gap closing and B in preparing students for success; Northwest Middle School earned a D in achievement, D in progress and F in gap closing; and Northwest High School earned a D in achievement, D in progress, D in gap closing and D in preparing for success.

Though Valley scored poorly in achievement, the gap closing component took a harder hit, wtih the district scored an F. Valley also earned a C in literacy, a D in preparing for success and a C for progress. By school, the elementary earned a C for achievement, B for progress, F for gap closing and C for literacy; the middle earned a D for achievement, C for progress and F for gap closing; and the high school earned a D for achievement, B for progress, F for gap closing and D for preparing students for success.

As a district, Clay also scored poorly in its ability to close the gap, earning an F. Clay earned a C for literacy, a D in preparing students for success and a D for progress.

By school, Clay Elementary had a D in achievement, B in progress, F in gap closing and C in literacy; Clay Middle had a D in achievement, F in progress and F in gap closing; and Clay High School had a D in achievement, F in progress, F in gap closing and D in preparing students for success.

Bloom-Vernon earned a B in gap closing, a C in literacy, a C in preparing for success and a B for progress. Bloom-Vernon Elementary School earned a B in achievement, A in progress, C in gap closing and C in literacy. South Webster Jr./Sr. High School earned a D in achievement, D in progress, B in gap closing and C in preparing students for success.

Community schools, such as Sciotoville Elementary Academy (SEA), were scored a little differently. SEA scored an F for indicators met, a C for performance, a B for overall value-added, a C for the value-added component for the lowest 20 percent of population, a D for achievement, a B for progress, an F for gap closing and a C for literacy.

East High School earned an F for indicators met, a D for performance, an F for their four-year graduation rate, a C for their five-year graduation rate, a C for overall value-added, D for achievement, a B for progress, an F for gap closing and an F for preparing for success.

For a complete list of district and school grades, visit www.education.ohio.gov.

By Nikki Blankenship

nblankenship@aimmediamidwest.com

Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931.

Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931.