Trotwood schools state testing is deciding factor in district takeover

Trotwood-Madison City Schools are striving for improved student grades on state testing this month, as those tests are a deciding factor in whether the state will take over the district by summer.

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Last year, out of all 608 Ohio public school districts, Trotwood-Madison ranked last in the state in performance index, which is the most detailed measure of state test performance. They also received low grades in categories such as student progress and prepared for success.

The possibility of the Ohio Department of Education stepping in to take action has prompted Trotwood-Madison's school board to take action as well. Over the past year, they’ve instituted development and leadership programs, after-school tutoring, university collaboration, and summer enrichment classes.

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“We have to make sure that our district is stable, that we are making progress, and that our students are getting everything they need”, said Board President Denise E. Moore. “We can’t put our district on pause, we have to move forward”.

If a school district has three consecutive years of bad state report card grades based on state tests, the Ohio Department of Education appoints an Academic Distress Commission to run the district. Trotwood-Madison schools are one year of bad scores away from that process.

An Academic Distress Commission would take over if one of two things happens — if Trotwood receives an "F" in the new overall grade that will be added to schools' report card this year, or if the district receives an “F” in performance index and a “D” or “F” in student growth.

Trotwood Superintendent Kevin Bell is retiring at the end of the year. School board officials say they are looking for someone long term or interim who can step in and get grades where they need to be in efforts to avoid future issues with student performance.

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