More state report card changes on way for August/September release

by Tim Troglen | reporter Published:

Hudson -- The Ohio Department of Education continued its ongoing tweaking of the state report card indicators May 13.

"Starting today, and as part of future report cards, several data elements will be reported including service, identification and achievement levels," according to an ODE press release.

The ODE also added "data to school and district report cards on the opportunities for, and performance of gifted students," according to the release sent May 13.

The Ohio Department of Education announced last year that several new indicators, including gifted student data, would be phased into final report card data by 2015.

"Including gifted student data and implementing the gifted indicator as part of the report cards reinforces our commitment to share as much pertinent information as possible about our schools with parents, taxpayers, school administrators and teachers," said Dr. Richard A. Ross, Ohio superintendent of public instruction.

"This data will help schools and families see what we still have to do to give our students the education they deserve," he said.

The gifted indicator will be reported as "met" or "not met" on the 2014 report card released this fall, according to the ODE.

"A related gifted indicator is currently being developed by the State Board of Education of Ohio," according to the ODE. "This indicator ... will be included in the calculation for the graded Indicators Met measure on the 2015 report cards."

In 2013, the ODE released report cards with more traditional letter grades of A through F, instead of the previous ranking system which gave districts and schools classifications which included continuous improvement, excellent and excellent with distinction.

"ODE has always stated gifted reporting would be included," Hudson City Schools Assistant Superintendent Doreen Osmun said. "This week's release [May 13] provided clarity for the reporting. We did have gifted reporting for value-added (student growth) last summer."

Other elements added will include: service, identification and achievement levels.

Osmun likes the new report card system, she said.

"However, there are many components behind each calculation so that is where it is confusing," Osmun added. "The ODE and the State Board in Columbus are still making decisions about if there are two or more factors, should one factor be weighted over the other. There are several unknowns."

It is sometimes challenging to quantify results of student learning, Osmun added.

"Learning is a process so we have to remember that when looking at data that comes from one point in time," Osmun said.

The gifted measure is "another piece of what we do in education," Osmun said.

"Everyone needs to remember there is much more to our students and to our Hudson City School District than test scores," Osmun said. "However, test scores and data are part of what we do."

And while the data might be confusing to parents, the district has been explaining changes at School Board meetings.

"We have a really talented and dedicated staff who work with amazing and motivated students who come from families and a community that supports them and values education," Osmun said.

"Student learning needs to be analyzed by several data points, much like a photo album, and not just individual snapshots along the way," Osmun said. "If everyone finds a way to do this, it will be more conducive to supporting our students and the schools they thrive in every day."

To view the ODE interactive report card site, visit www.reportcard.education.ohio.gov.

Email: ttroglen@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9435

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