Education group lauds Ohio report card

The Ohio Department of Education’s new school report cards, which were introduced last year, received highest praise in a new study from the Education Commission of the States.

Ohio was the only state in the nation to have its report card singled out for excellence by both parent reviewers and researchers, while also measuring the five indicators the researchers called most essential — student achievement, student academic growth, achievement gap closure, graduation rates, and post-secondary and career readiness.

“We released the new A-F report cards with the idea that they would be easier to understand, and provide more information to both parents and educators,” ODE spokesman John Charlton said. “This report kind of validates our efforts so far, as we continue to work on this report card. The real winners are the students in Ohio. They’re going to benefit from the information in that report card, whether it’s their parents using the data, educators using it, or whether the students are looking at it themselves.”

In the ECS study, parents identified six state report cards, including Ohio’s, as superior for ease of reading, providing sufficient data and overall usefulness. A team of researchers said Ohio was one of eight states with report cards that are easy-to-find, informative and readable. That research group further narrowed Ohio’s report card to be one of their top three nationally by those measures.

Finally, the ECS study lauded Ohio for being one of nine states to measure and report to the public all five key indicators. The study authors did offer the caveat that since Ohio’s report card system is brand new, some of the overall grades based on those indicators won’t be released until 2015.

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In 2013, Ohio switched from its old report cards – which designated schools and districts on a continuum from excellent with distinction to academic emergency – to a new system that assigns A-F letter grades in up to nine performance areas. Some of the overall grades will not be phased in until 2015.

To see a district or school report card, visit the Ohio Department of Education web site at reportcard.education.ohio.gov.

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