District Report Card: An Open Letter to London Families
Dear London Families,
The Ohio Department of Education recently released report cards for each school and district in our state. Our district improved markedly on our performance on the report card, although because of a change in state metrics, you may not see it at first. Overall, London City Schools improved its letter grades in two of the six component areas, maintained its rating in three others, and dropped in one area.
On the positive side, London has a great deal to celebrate this year in regards to student achievement. The performance index is one of the best measures of district improvement, because it takes into account the achievement of every student on every state test. This year, LCS improved from 82.3 to 84.9 in terms of performance index, which marks the largest one year increase in district history. Other district report card highlights include improvement on 17 of the 23 subject matter tests (including every English Language Arts test) and bumping our grade for literacy in grades K-3 from an “F” to a “C.” Additionally, our junior class scored above the state average on the ACT in English, reading, and science.
Despite making improvements in student achievement and student growth, the district still received low scores in these areas. The reason for this is a combination of factors that are not necessarily related to student performance. First, the Ohio Department of Education continues to raise the performance standards on the report card in multiple areas, which can negate the appearance of any improvement. This occurred in each tested area as well as in the Prepared for Success measure. LCS actually scored nearly identical in the Prepared for Success component this year as last year, but because the state raised the benchmark score, last year’s “C” is this year’s “D.” When you look at growth it gets a bit more complex. District growth scores are actually an average of the performance of a district’s students over the last two years. Two years ago, Ohio switched to “more rigorous” assessments, which resulted in more districts receiving D’s and F’s than A’s and B’s. Admittedly, London did not score well in that transition year, which hurt our Progress score this year despite some sizable improvements.
While performance on our state report card is important, our district measures success in a variety of ways. Fortunately, other measures are also showing that things at London are looking up. For example, three times per year, we measure student growth locally using the Measures of Academic Progress (or MAP), which are reliable tests that used internationally. While our district Progress measure on the state report card did not accurately show the growth we made this year, we know that LCS students improved by 12 percent overall on MAP testing.
As a district, we also measure success in terms of district enrollment (Overall, enrollment is up 60 students), attendance (LCS maintained a similar 94% attendance rate as the year before), discipline (The district had 50 FEWER out of school suspensions in 2016-2017), and the opinions of our school community (86% of parents responding to our December 2016 survey indicated that they were proud of their child’s school). All of these measures demonstrated that our district has a great deal in which to be proud.
In several weeks, the focus on state report card results will subside until next year, but our focus on making our district the best it can be will continue. You can monitor our progress in reaching our goals by reviewing our district’s quality profile. Should you have any questions regarding our district, or an individual school’s performance, please feel free to contact the appropriate administrator for your student’s needs.
Go Red Raiders,
Dr. Lou Kramer
Posted: Saturday, September 16, 2017