MIAMI COUNTY — Miami County school districts earned B’s and C’s on the annual state report cards released by the Ohio Department of Education on Thursday.
The following school districts in Miami County received a B in the Overall designation: Miami East Local Schools, Newton Local School, and Tipp City Exempted Village.
These schools received a C for their Overall grade: Piqua City Schools, Bethel Local, Bradford Exempted Village, Covington Exempted Village, Milton-Union Exempted Village, and Troy City Schools.
This year was the first state report card to designate an “Overall” letter grade between A and F school districts around the state. The Ohio Department of Education first began implementing the expanded grade card in 2013 from its previous “Excellent with Distinction” to “Academic Warning” scale in 2013.
In this story, we spoke to the superintendents of the Miami East and Piqua school districts for their reactions to their respective report cards. We will continue to report on the results in future interviews.
To view the entire state report card, including a breakdown of each district’s individual schools, visit the Ohio Department of Education website at https://reportcard.education.ohio.gov/.
Piqua City Schools: C
In 2018, PCS scored 82.3 in the Performance Index category, a composite measure reflecting the level of achievement for each student on each state test. This is down slightly from 2017’s score of 82.6. This year, the district met state standards in 4 of the 24 test areas.
“One challenge we continue to struggle with is the fact that all 10th-grade students have to take the ACT and there is no accommodation for students on an IEP,” PCS Superintendent Dwayne Thompson said. “This test is really meant for students that want to go to college. Students that do not want to go to college struggle with being motivated to do well on this test.”
Thompson went on to say that some of the grades handed down by the Ohio Department of Education do not accurately reflect the district’s progress, e.g., the F that the state gave PCS in the “Prepared for Success” category.
“This rating is primarily based on college prep. There are a number of ways we are working to prepare students for other paths such as military, vocation, and work force,” Thompson said. “Again, not all students want to go to college and taking a college-level entry test is not really the best way, in my opinion, to measure if a student is ‘prepared for success.’”
Other grades PCS received are:
• Achievement — This component represents whether student performance on state tests met established thresholds and how well students performed on tests overall — D
• Graduation — Looks at the percent of students successfully finishing high school with a diploma in four or five years — B
• Improving at-risk K-3 readers — D
• Gap Closing — How well schools are meeting the performance expectations for its most vulnerable students in English language arts, math, graduation and English language proficiency — B
• Progress — The growth that all students are making based on their past performances — A
The progress component is further broken down into “Value Added” categories: students with disabilities; students identified as the lowest 20 percent statewide in reading, math or science; and students identified as gifted in reading, math, science, and/or superior cognitive ability. In all of these areas, PCS received A’s.
“This is our second year in a row for getting straight A’s in Value Added. Three years ago we had all A’s and one B. It is very difficult to maintain this level of consistent growth with Value Added,” Thompson said.
“I am very pleased that our staff, students, and parents have worked together to earn these marks. I think it demonstrates that what we are doing is working to help our students grow.”
Miami East Local Schools: B
Miami East Local Schools was the only district in the county to break 100 points in the performance index score.
Miami East Junior High scored an overall A, Miami East Elementary scored an overall B and Miami East High School scored an overall B in 2017-18.
Miami East Local Schools Superintendent Dr. Todd Rappold said, “We are very pleased with our scores and the number of indicators met. We are pleased with the efforts the staff and students put in.”
Miami East met state indicators in 19 out of the 24 test areas, the most in the county. The district failed to meet the following indicators: gifted, high school geometry, seventh grade language arts and math, and fifth grade math.
Rappold commended the efforts of the district’s staff, noting the many hours of classes and conferences they attend to boost student achievement, especially in the areas of writing and math.
“There is no magic formula. It’s a lot of hard work including the district’s parents and kids,” Rappold said.
Rappold said the district uses report card data to establish goals for students and classroom work.
“As more (state report card data) comes out, we’ll start to delve into and identify some areas to work on,” he said.