The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, Jun. 19, 2024

VW Bd. hears info on state report cards

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

One thing is certain about the Ohio Department of Education’s annual school report cards – there is very little, if any consistency from year-to-year. Each year, there are changes to such things as assessment factors, the state’s grading scale for each of Ohio’s public school districts, and the latest report cards are no different.

Report cards for the 2021-2022 school year were released in mid-September and perhaps the biggest noticeable difference from previous years was a new ratings scale of 1-5 stars in each of five different categories, with five stars being the highest. It replaced the old A-F scale.

Chris Covey talks about data recorded on the latest school report card. Scott Truxell/Van Wert independent

Van Wert City Schools earned five stars in the graduation category, four stars for gap closing and three stars for achievement, progress and early literacy. However, no overall rating was given for the previous school year.

The latest report card was broken down and discussed during Wednesday’s meeting of the Van Wert school board. Superintendent Mark Bagley and Chris Covey, Director of Curriculum, led the discussion and gave a brief overview of the data.

“Our teachers take a lot of pride in this and when you get graded by a star or a letter grade, it’s always personal,” Bagley said. “We feel overall that we’ve met expectations but we’re always looking to learn from the data.”

“The two areas that we feel are the most proud are the gap closing, which means we’re working hard with every single child in our district, and then the progress showing that we are making steady growth,” Covey said.

He added there are some reporting methods the district needs to change that he believes will help immediately, especially in the literacy category, which he termed “extremely confusing.”

“That’s one area in particular that we think we’re knocking it out of the park,” Covey explained. “We didn’t feel the indicator said where we know we are and that’s where we came up with some reporting things that we need to change to better show what it is we’re doing.”

He added that he worries that the report cards focus on things such as diplomas with honors, ACT scores, College Credit-Plus and A.P. scores.

“(Those) are all important, but I don’t know that those are necessarily indicators of success for all students, not even close,” Covey stated. “Those are a lot to do with kids who are going to go to college and as we know, not all of our population should consider that for an option.”

During the discussion, Covey used the “see, think and wonder” protocol with the board and asked for their immediate thoughts on what they saw on the report card, which spurred comments about how to exceed expectations and what to focus on in the future.

A direct link to Van Wert’s state report cards can be found here.

POSTED: 09/30/22 at 3:54 am. FILED UNDER: News