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Ohio Department of Education Digs Into District Grades

Ashton Marra

Days after the state report cards that grade school districts were released, parents, educators and even state Board of Education members are still trying to figure out just what those grades mean.

Superintendent Paolo DeMaria and employees of the Ohio Department of Education drilled down into what each of the 11 graded measures stands for and how the department came up with each letter grade during the state Board of Education meeting Monday.

Several members pushed back against the A through F grades themselves, which were created in a joint effort between the board and the Ohio Legislature. At one point, House Education Committee Chair Andrew Brenner walked out of the meeting, saying some House members want to get rid of the grades altogether. But Brenner’s Senate counterpart Peggy Lehner doesn’t agree.

“I think that there’s a lot of value in the report card, but that doesn’t mean that every component of it is done the best it can be or we should continue to do one or another feature of the report card. I think that’s always worth reevaluating," Lehner says.

Lehner says lawmakers should continue to work with the Board of Education to improve the grading system, not scrap it, leaving parents without a way to measure school success.