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Area superintendents consider 2016 state report cards 'seriously flawed'

Published: September 18, 2016 12:00 AM
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Akron Area School Superintendent's Association is representing member districts from across Summit, Portage and Medina counties in response to the Ohio Department of Education's 2016 Report Card that was released on Sept. 15.

The purpose of the Ohio Department of Education's report card is to help identify strengths and weaknesses of each district's educational program and performance.

As educators, the association's primary concern is to deliver a high quality educational experience to prepare students for college and careers. The association believes the report card does not reflect the quality of education each respective district is providing its students.

"I speak for all members of the association when I state, we truly believe the report card is seriously flawed," said Walter Davis, President of the Akron Area School Superintendent's Association and Superintendent of Woodridge Local Schools. "We welcome accountability and transparency in the educational experience our districts provide our students. As such, it's important for us to provide the facts to our districts' residents."

Members of the Akron Area School Superintendent's Association who stand behind this statement, include Walter Davis, Woodridge Local Schools; Patti Cleary, Barberton City Schools; Ben Moore, Portage Lake Career Center; Chuck Sincere, Springfield Local Schools; Brian Poe, Copley-Fairlawn City Schools; Joe Clark, Nordonia Hills City Schools; Mary Jane Stanchina, Six District Educational Compact; Jeff Ferguson, Tallmadge City Schools; Todd Nichols, Cuyahoga Falls City Schools; Tom Bratten, Stow-Munroe Falls City Schools; Joseph Iacano, Summit Educational Service Center; Andrew Hill, Wadsworth City Schools; Phillip Herman, Hudson City Schools; Matt Montgomery; Revere Local Schools, Dave Heflinger, Field Local Schools; Rusty Chaboudy, Coventry Local Schools; Christina Dinklocker, Mogadore Local Schools; Jeff Miller, Green Local Schools; Kathryn Powers, Twinsburg City Schools; David James, Akron Public Schools; David Dunn, Norton City Schools; and Jim Robinson, Manchester Local Schools.

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The association states there are many examples that illustrate the flawed nature of the state report card including:

The new Prepared for Success measure looks at students over a two-year period. In late June, the state made a change in how the data was to be reported; districts were not permitted to update data derived from the first year of the period. As a result, improvements made by districts that added additional college courses are not considered or included in the score.

The Achievement metric shares how well students perform on state tests. The state has expanded testing on federal requirements, adding nine additional tests in all content areas, and has changed test types three times in as many years. While teaching and learning standards have remained constant in our districts, the assessment requirements have repeatedly changed, making it very difficult to make comparisons and improve instruction.

The K-3 Literacy Rate compares the results of a student's preliminary reading assessment to their proficiency on the Grade 3 test. This new test, however, now incorporates reading and writing. As such, this measure is flawed in that it calculates a rate based on a reading score to a reading and writing score. As a result of this flawed comparison, the calculated score does not reflect actual literacy attainment.

SDLqWe believe the report card does not consistently measure the educational programs of our districts," said Davis. "Our districts teachers and staff work hard every day to provide our students an educational experience to prepare them for college and careers. The state's ever-changing report card does not reflect how local school districts are actually performing."

For more information on the Ohio Department of Education's report card, please visit http://reportcard.education.ohio.gov.

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