Ohio will be handing out state report card ratings for districts and schools Oct. 17, state officials said Tuesday, now that State Auditor Dave Yost’s investigations into enrollment and attendance manipulation is winding down for 100 schools around the state.
Each year, usually in late summer, the state publicizes report cards that rate districts and schools on a six-level scale; the highest rated are called “Excellent with Distinction,” then Excellent, while the lowest rated are dubbed “Academic Emergency” and the slightly better Academic Watch.
But those labels and the calculations behind them were lacking late last month, when Ohio held back state report cards and instead released only a spreadsheet describing student scores on state achievement tests and graduation averages for high schools. State officials said they’d rather wait for Yost to finish examining records at the 100 schools with the highest numbers of student withdrawals.
Most of those schools, including some in Cincinnati, were declared “clean” of data manipulation last week. Some school results were “indeterminate” because investigations weren’t complete, including schools in Cincinnati, Princeton and Hamilton City Schools districts.
Despite that, most report card data for all schools will be released on a preliminary basis next week, said John Charlton, Ohio education department spokesman. That will include the 120-point Performance Index – a measure of test scores that allows for schools and districts to be ranked against each other – and attendance rates for all Ohio schools and districts.
State report card ratings are important, often affecting whether the public approves new school taxes or reelects sitting school board members. The report card feed perceptions about school quality.