Ohio’s 2016 Local Report Cards:
The Impact of ‘Apples to Oranges to Lemons’
on Bloom-Carroll’s LRC
The recent release of the 2016 Local Report Cards (LRCs) has created quite a buzz across the state. Districts that typically received A’s and B’s on past report cards were suddenly looking at D’s and F’s for the first time. What happened? Did teachers suddenly stop teaching? Did students suddenly stop learning? What do all of these letter grades really mean and how did Bloom-Carroll Local Schools actually perform compared to other districts across the state?
To answer these questions in a brief write-up is a daunting task. Many educators across Ohio are struggling to provide simple answers to a very complex accountability system.
On the surface, one may conclude that we did not do so well. One A, one B, two C’s, and two F’s is not something the Bloom-Carroll community is used to seeing nor would ever expect and/or accept on our local report card.
However, when you break down each of the six complex components of the report card and begin comparing the results to other districts across the state, Bloom-Carroll actually held strong on many of the components on the 2016 Local Report Card. We received an A on the Graduation Rate Component, a B on the Progress Component (Value-Added), and a C on two components: Achievement and Prepared for Success. We received an F in the areas of K-3 Literacy and Gap Closing. One must look beyond the surface to understand what these grades truly imply. For example, we received an F in Gap Closing, but so did 526 districts out of the 608 districts throughout the state.
The impact of this transition is best explained in a recent article released by the Cleveland Plain Dealer on September 22nd entitled "How Ohio reached report card chaos - and one way to cut through the confusion." The author explains the reason behind the sudden shift in letter grades state-wide. The pie chart (left) is from the article and is a great visual illustrating how these continuous changes have impacted the Performance Index of all districts throughout the state over the past three years.It is important for our families, community, and even staff members to realize that the grades issued on the state report cards today are not apples to apples. But rather, apples to oranges to lemons. The Lancaster Eagle Gazette published an article entitled "State school report cards show changing standards" the day following the release of the 2016 LRCs. In the article, area superintendents shared their thoughts on this year’s outcomes. Dr. Landis stated that it is “very difficult to draw reasonable conclusions from the state report cards issued today. School districts are struggling state-wide to hit targets that are constantly moving.” And how true that is! The Lancaster Eagle Gazette followed up with an article on Tuesday, September 25th "State gets an "F" on report card system." This article addresses the complexity and challenges of Ohio’s new report card system and compares it to the struggle of Charlie Brown trying to kick the infamous football held by Lucy. For the past three years, districts have lined up to kick the ball, only to have it moved mid-stream.
What can we expect this school year when the testing window rolls around in the spring of 2017? For Bloom-Carroll, the ball will once again move as we transition for the first time to state-mandated online AIR assessments, instead of the paper-pencil versions we have issued in the past. We are taking steps district-wide to prepare our students for this next wave of change mandated by the state.
To our teachers…...I say, keep teaching and do not lose your passion! To our students….I say, keep learning and discover your passion! And to our families…I say, keep supporting and encouraging your children each day and feel confident that the staff of Bloom-Carroll Local Schools is dedicated to their mission ~ to create a compassionate and rigorous environment that prepares students for success. By keeping our mission in the forefront, we will work hard to be a source of pride, inspiration, and confidence, not only for our students, but for our staff, parents, and community. Outcomes such as this cannot be measured by a letter grade on any report card.
For more information about the Ohio’s 2016 LRC, visit the Ohio Department of Education’s Webpage at www.education.ohio.govRecommended Links:
· Report Card FAQs http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Data/Report-Card-Resources/FAQ
· Ohio’s Guide to 2016 Ohio School Report Cards