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An Open Letter from Superintendent Lou Kramer to London Families About State Report Cards
Dear London Families,

Today, the Ohio Department of Education released report cards for school districts around the state. These report cards are meant to measure and report on the academic progress and overall educational program for school districts for last school year. This is a process that has been in place for a number of years, but this year’s release is quite different.

This year’s report card scores for districts around the state will be significantly lower than in years past. This may not necessarily be because students across the state are suddenly not performing as high as they once were. On the contrary, students in Ohio have been on a modest upward trend in performance on measures such as the composite score for the ACT for the past 5 years.

The reason for the significantly lower report card scores are due mainly to a change in the testing procedures (London students took all assessments online for the first time this year for example), reporting procedures (The state and district have encountered an increasing number of issues with the state’s reporting system (EMIS) over the past year), and the fact the tests themselves have changed (26 of the 31 tests given to students in grades 3-12 were new and considered much more rigorous this year).

This change in testing and reporting procedures is a lot like going to your doctor and having your doctor tell you the Centers for Disease Control has recently changed its guidelines regarding body mass index. Instead of being slightly overweight, you are now rated well into the obese category. In this example, your level of health did not necessarily change but the perspective of your health in the future is certain to be different.

Unlike my example about going to the doctor, in which you compare your weight from one year to the next, it is difficult for us to compare the performance of students on old tests like the OAA with the new assessments on this year’s report card. To quote an oft over used phrase – this would be like comparing apples and oranges.

We have a wonderful school district, but we are not without our challenges. The overall academic growth and achievement of our students is our top priority. We are especially concerned about improving our students’ achievement in mathematics throughout the district and our reading and Language Arts performance, particularly in our early elementary grades. Whether it is fair this year or not, we are not at all pleased with our report card results. As a district we are currently drafting a strategic plan, which prioritizes this work and helps us plan for improvement. You can read more about the district’s strategic plan on our district website.

No one likes to receive a bad report card, but I am far more concerned with what we do about it. Moving forward, we will use the information from our report card, along with metrics we feel are important, to improve the teaching and learning that occurs in our classrooms everyday.

Interim reports are due out next week and parent teacher conferences are right around the corner. I encourage you to work with your child’s teachers to help your child achieve. Please understand we will be doing everything in our power to improve our district. After all, student success is our mission!

As always, if I can be of any help to you or your child, please do not hesitate to let me know.

Sincerely,

Lou Kramer
District Superintendent

Resources:

London City Schools Draft Strategic Plan
London City Schools 2016 District Report Card
Guide to 2016 Ohio School Report Cards (Ohio Department of Education)
State Report Card will have both new and lower grades for schools, districts (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
Ohio’s ACT Profile
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London City Schools
District Office Address:
380 Elm St., 2nd Floor
London, Ohio 43140
District Office:
District Fax:
(740) 852-5700
(740) 845-3282
Elementary: (740) 845-3272
Middle School: (740) 852-5701
High School: (740) 852-5705
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