Schools improve Ohio report card results

By Jonathan Delozier -

The Wellington Schools raised their performance index, measuring the standardized test results of every student, from a D to a C on the latest round of Ohio school report cards.

For the 2016-2017 school year, the district came in at 70.9 percent, up from last year’s 66.3 score.

Yet the state dinged Wellington with an F for meeting expectations for student passage of two of 24 standardized tests. The Ohio Department of Education mandated that at least 80 percent of students pass each test last year for the district to get credit.

Fifth-graders at McCormick Middle School notched the highest indicator score in the district, with 92.7 percent passing the science test, a nearly 14 percent jump over last year. They were followed closely by Wellington High School government results at 89.3 percent, significantly up from 79.1 percent the year prior.

For the 2015-2016 school year, seven out of 29 indicators were met, with WHS students who took the Ohio Graduation Test setting district highs with scores of 87.7 percent in writing and 85.8 in reading.

Just over 13 percent of Duke test-takers were classified as advanced, the second highest ranking. Eighteen percent were considered accelerated and 31.5 percent were deemed proficient. A little under one percent earned the highest possible classification, advanced plus.

Performance index scores combined with the indicators met amount to a D grade for achievement.

“The state report card gives a benchmark for student learning,” said Wellington superintendent Ed Weber. “We will work closely throughout the year to continue to improve teaching and learning, while honoring that our students are more than just test scores.”

Some of the criteria used in drawing up the report cards have been criticized by teachers and administrators around the county, such as giving zeros to studentswho receive state permission to opt out of standardized tests.

After most Lorain County districts saw their grades drastically fall last year, some officials said the report cards as a whole are designed to make public schools look bad and further the proliferation of for-profit charter schools.

Wellington received a B for its high school graduation rate, with 88.4 percent of students turning their tassels after four years and 93.4 percent after five years.

For progress, or growth among students based on their past performance, the district jumped also jumped from a D to a C.

Drastic improvement was seen in the area of gap closing, or how well schools are meeting the needs of disadvantaged students. Wellington nearly doubled last year’s results, going from 33.3 to 63.4 percent.

Kindergarten through third grade literacy tracks how successful schools are at helping readers who are struggling. Dukes at Westwood improved by 27.3 percent from an F to a C.

However, the district fell from a D to an F in the “prepared for success” category, which looks at how ready students are for college, technical school, or to enter the workforce. While the letter grade did fall, the percentage score difference between this year and last was only 2.4 percent.

Scores for Black River closely mirrored Wellington’s.

Achievement there earned a D with a performance index of 72.4 percent — up slightly from last year’s 71.3. District gap closing came in at an F both last year and this year, but the percentage score jumped from 33.3 to 47.1.

Progress fell from a D to an F while high school graduation rates (a B grade) and literacy among elementary students (36.4 percent) remained relatively steady.

In comparable districts around the county, Oberlin came in at a C (74.3 percent) for performance index and also notched a D for achievement. Kindergarten though third grade literacy scored 35.5 percent, or a C, and gap closing rang up at 49.1, an F.

Keystone received a C for achievement with a performance index score of 78.3 percent. Gap closing came in at a C (77.7 percent) while progress and kindergarten through third grade literacy (52.5 percent) earned B’s.

Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.

By Jonathan Delozier