Ohio’s rating system: what does it mean?

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* Milford creates our own “report card”


When everyone is “the best,” then no one is – right?

That’s kind of how it is with Ohio’s current process of evaluating districts.  A recent report by the Ohio Association for Gifted Children, “Grading on a Curve: The Illusion of Excellence in Ohio’s Schools,” shows that almost 60% of all districts in Ohio were rated Excellent in 2010-11!

To give you an idea of what this means, I’ll pull out just one stat:  out of the 352 districts rated “Excellent” or “Excellent with Distinction” last year, 109 (almost 1/3!) had average ACT scores below the state average.  Do you call that Excellent?

This has led many to question what an Excellent rating truly means.  In addition, Ohio’s Superintendent Stan Heffner says Ohio is adopting new, tougher standards and statewide tests that will help fix this problem.  The Enquirer just released an article on the study in Wednesday’s paper – you can read it here.

The lax standards and ease of “getting around” the ratings is one of the biggest reasons Milford is moving to develop its own report card.  While we need to pay attention to state ratings for some things, it’s even more important that our school district meets the needs of our own students and community members.  Are we teaching what our students need to be prepared for the world after MEVSD?  Are we meeting our residents’ needs in keeping costs in control?  Are we communicating effectively and listening to all those in the community?

Hopefully the state will fix its rating system, making it much less “test-based” and much more a representation of districts truly going above & beyond for their students.  But we are not waiting.  We are taking numerous steps to gain input as we identify what our community would like us to be evaluated on.  If you have ideas, please share them here.  What would you like to see?  How would you like it delivered to you?  Please let us know!


2 Responses to “Ohio’s rating system: what does it mean?”

  1. Mary Ann Ackermann Says:

    With a child in the 8th grade I would like to see The Milford School District report on how we rank against the best schools in college readiness? What is the key criteria colleges are looking for in potential students for their schools? How do we rank in those specific criteria?

    Milford Schools are often compared to Clermont County Schools and it ends there. We always rank high in those comparisons. I am more interested in how we compare to the best ranked schools in the city; ie: Mariemont, Madiera, Sycamore, Wyoming, Indian Hill. And the best ranked schools in the state, the best in the nation, and the best internationally. Where do we fall short and what would make us better? How do we compare to our highly esteemed private schools?

    • Number of AP students.
    • Number and kinds of AP classes offered.
    • Comparative ACT/ SAT scores.
    • % of graduating class receiving diplomas with honors.
    • Comparisons of gifted offerings.
    • Comparisons and types of scholarships earned.
    • 21st Century Skills with examples.

    Our schools and students are often measured by reaching benchmarks or meeting state standard minimums. Although I am interested in meeting those standards I am equally interested in how our schools (and our students) perform to the best of the best. How do we compare to those schools and students that are well exceeding benchmark. It is a competitive world out there and I would like to see how we compare with the best.

  2. andreabrady Says:

    Hi Mary Ann,
    Thanks for the great & comprehensive input! I’ll pass this on to Dr. Farrell. He’s pulling together input from a variety of sources, and will have some recommendations in a few months. If you think of anything else, please let me know.

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