Today, the Ohio Department of Education will release Local Report Card (LRC) information for districts all across the state. While we are eager to engage with residents about what this data means, it is important to know that no report card or rating system is perfect. Report cards can’t tell the complete story of a student’s educational experience and no single test can ever define the effectiveness of our educators.
For example, this report card can’t measure the critical thinking skills that our students learn through Project Based Learning (PBL) units. It can’t measure the enthusiasm an artistic or extracurricular program offers a child and it isn’t measuring our community support for the types of experiences residents expect our students to have. However, it is important that we understand what this latest change from our state leaders means and how it impacts our schools.
As a district, Hilliard City Schools will receive an “A” in the “Achievement” component of the LRC and met all 24 Performance Indicators. The Performance Index is another component of the “Achievement” section and continues to indicate strong academic performance with a 103.6 which is a “B.” Hilliard City Schools also received an “A” in both measurements of the “Graduate Rate” component with more than 93 percent of all students graduating within four years and 95.2 percent graduating within five years. Hilliard City Schools is once again helping students to gain more than a year’s worth of academic growth with a 24.97 index on the Value Added measurement which equates to an “A” on the “Progress” component of the LRC. To receive an A in this component a school district must have an index of 2 or more. Finally the “Gap Closing” measurement is calculated through the “Annual Measurable Objectives” (AMO) component of the LRC. This component replaces the previous “Adequate Yearly Progress” (AYP) section. Much like AYP this measurement looks at the performance of various subgroups such as students in ethnic groups, those with learning disabilities and socio-economic standards. However AYP not only looked at the academic achievement of these subgroups, it also took into account the academic growth of each group. The new AMO only measures each subgroup’s passage rate in comparison to a state-set goal. While Hilliard City Schools is able to demonstrate academic growth for many of these subgroups, the overall “Gap Closing” score is a “D.”
While it is natural for us as a society to look at the lowest scoring areas and say what happened, it is important for us to remember that this is simply one look at one piece of data in an incredibly complicated system. The state has changed the reporting system, but much of the data is the same and is simply being viewed from a different perspective. It is also important to remember that this is only one piece of the puzzle that we use to determine our own effectiveness.
It is also important to note that Hilliard City Schools has never sat still and said this is good enough. We are leading the way by making sure students are ready not only for higher education, but also the jobs of tomorrow. This is the “Hilliard Way” and it is a tradition of excellence that I look forward to continuing.
There will be lots of opportunities for parent and community conversations in the coming weeks regarding this information. We welcome these opportunities to discuss our practices and the community’s expectations for our schools. We have placed a number of resources on our website to help parents and residents better understand what this new approach means for our community. Please be sure to check this out and feel free to ask any additional questions that you may have. We welcome community input and want to hear from our residents on important matters such as these.
It is also important to remember that while the state is again changing the way they calculate and format the Local Report Card, what will not change is Hilliard City Schools’ commitment of embracing, empowering and inspiring every student to reach his or her fullest potential. Preparing today’s students for the demands of tomorrow’s jobs is what our community expects and what our students deserve.