Report card grades will be marked ‘incomplete’ this year
COLUMBUS — Ohio’s latest report cards for school districts don’t have the usual performance rankings and some other key indicators, after school closures and legislative changes related to the coronavirus affected the state’s system for reporting and accountability.
State testing requirements for students were waived in the spring under legislation passed as schools faced closures and the pivot to remote learning because of the pandemic. As a result, report cards released Tuesday for the 2019-2020 school year don’t include ratings that are based on the tests that were canceled.
Elements excluded this year include grades that reflect student performance and whether schools meet expectations in closing achievement gaps for certain learners. Missing from the report card are the performance index and indicators met categories, which are generally considered the best measure of a school district’s academic performance as based on state exams and othe factors.
Because of these factors, the Journal will not be doing a report card story this year that would have compared how districts fared compared to last year.
The state’s largest teachers union, the Ohio Education Association, seized on that to reiterate its call for changing the accountability system, arguing the report cards are based too much on standardized test results.
A statement from state Superintendent Paolo DeMaria said it’s still important to gauge students’ academic achievement and use available data to improve instruction.
The data shared this year includes information about graduation rates, enrollment, attendance and spending. The Ohio Department of Education highlighted that the four-year graduation rate was 85.9% for the class of 2019, up slightly from the previous year.