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Education


More schools will do worse with Ohio's new report cards
Ohio's Department of Education outlines how traditional and charter schools will do on the upcoming A-F report cards
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE BUREAU CHIEF KAREN KASLER


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Karen Kasler
 
Courtesy of Ohio Department of Education
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Ohio’s schools will start being graded on a scale of A through F in 2015. But as Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler reports, the state Department of Education is offering a preview of those grade cards now.

KASLER on A-F report cards preview

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Education officials say the A-F grades will make it easier for parents to understand how their children's schools are doing. And a new report shows, if the A-F scale were in place right now, a little over 60 percent of Ohio’s public schools would get As as measured by proficiency tests, attendance and graduation. That compares to more than 63 percent that get the current top ratings of excellent or excellent with distinction.

Twenty-four districts – 6.4 percent – would get F's, including some districts rated effective (think of that as a B)  or continuous improvement (a C) now.

Bigger changes are coming
Superintendent Richard Ross says he’s not surprised.

“Most schools will see lower grades than their past report card rankings have suggested. But I’m going to be asking you to trust that this is not a ‘gotcha’ for Ohio schools. It’s an opportunity for us to be aspirational and look two years down the road.”

By the time the A-F grade cards come out in August 2015, more than just the grading titles will have changed; the state standards themselves will be harder. But state board Vice President Tom Gunlock is confident.

“I don’t believe you’re going to see a big drop off in the scores.”

What about charters?
In this preview, only slightly over 9 percent of Ohio's more than 330 charter schools would get an A on their report cards, with an overwhelming number getting Fs. And a third of the state’s charters weren’t included in the report by the Department of Education for various reasons.

The report cards also rate schools on their overall student improvement, on four- and five-year graduation rates and on performance for gifted and disabled and those at the bottom 20 percent.

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