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Alden Brown Elementary News


Posted on: September 16, 2016
Ohio’s transition to new learning standards

State report cards for year two of Ohio’s transition to new learning standards and state tests were released on September 15th. Overall grades across the State came in significantly lower than normal. Ohio Department of Education officials are urging families to treat the new report cards as a “re-set” of expectations. State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria stated, “we know what happens (with new tests) the numbers go down. People are trying to get used to new things. Then the system steps up.”

Our students were exposed to the third differently designed test in three years. Additionally the transition from paper and pencil testing to online testing has had an impact. For the 2015/16 school year, the American Institutes for Research or “AIR,” wrote all the tests. The previous school year, the state’s test for English language arts and math were created by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). Before that all testing was paper and pencil and the State used the Ohio Academic Assessments (“OAA”) and the Ohio Graduation Test (“OGT”). “What you (will) see in the results really reflects a system in transition,” Superintendent DeMaria said.

The grade card has 6 new “component” grades – K-3 Literacy, Progress, Achievement, Gap Closing, Graduation Rate, and Prepared for Success. The K-3 Literacy component looks at how successful the school is at getting struggling readers on track to proficiency in Third grade and beyond. The Progress Component is also known as Value-Added; it is a measure of students’ academic growth that estimates whether students learned the expected amount in a single school year, or more, or less. Districts where kids learn the expected amount of material receive a “C.” If they learn more than the state expects, they receive a higher grade; and if they learn less, they have lower grades.

The “achievement” component includes the “performance index” a composite of scores for multiple grades and tests, along with the number of “indicators met,” or how well districts met proficiency benchmarks.

The Gap Closing is a measurement that is supposed to show how well schools are closing gaps that exist in the achievement of identified student groups because of income, race, ethnicity or disability. On the 2015-16 grade card 86% of the school districts failed Gap Closing and 5.7% received a letter grade of “D”.

Graduation Rate looks at the percent of students who are successfully finishing high school with a diploma in four or five years.

Prepared for Success is a combination of data points to determine training in a technical field, work, or college.

Without an overall letter grade; which grades are the most important? They all serve a purpose, but  we still look closely at the performance index part of the achievement component.

Over the last three years Performance Index grades for districts statewide have been steadily declining; only 2 received an “A” this year.

Although our scores do not meet our expectations, we do realize that we are in transition in the state and we will do better as the testing environment hopefully stabilizes in the State of Ohio.  Our staff remains committed to providing the very best instruction for our children, both now and in the future. 

You can access all component grades by clicking on the following link:

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