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New School Report Cards Get An “F”



The State of Ohio issued new report cards for schools and school districts in Ohio, which were supposed to be easier to understand.

The new report cards, and the State of Ohio, get an “F” from us.

The Ohio Department of Education graded schools for years. The federal government got into the act with “No Child Left Behind” legislation.

School grade cards have always been confusing and difficult for the public to understand. The new cards are worse.

Steve Switzer, Pettisville superintendent, said he is “perplexed.” Switzer has more than three decades in education, particularly administration, and holds advanced education degrees.

If he doesn’t understand the new grade cards with his expertise, how can the public?

Another school official reported that they’ve called Columbus to get questions answered, only to have ODE officials say they don’t know the answers, referring the callers up the ODE chain of command.

Plus, ODE didn’t issue grades for all of the categories, and won’t give schools an overall grade until 2015.

ODE dribbles out some information, but tells us not to compare to the previous cards, and don’t try to average the grades together to get an overall grade. Is that akin to giving us bread, peanut butter, and jelly, but telling us not to make a sandwich?

After being a top-performing school district for more than a decade, Archbold Area Schools got a “D” on one portion. Pettisville, also a top performer, received an “F” in one category.

One year, the districts are pronounced Excellent school districts in the state… the next, they each manage three As and two Bs, out of a possible nine?

Instead of an “F,” maybe ODE should get an “incomplete,” with an offer to reconsider its grade if it redoes its work.



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