State report card changes passed through Ohio Senate

By: - June 24, 2021 12:40 am

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Changes to Ohio’s state report cards could come through a joint effort to eliminate graduation requirements and change the state ranking system.

The state Senate approved House Bill 82, the aim of which was originally to make national standardized college admission tests an opt-out system for parents or guardians. As the bill heads back to the House for review, it also replaces the state public school report card A-F letter grade system with a star-rating system.

The six components of the the public school rankings are maintained in the bill, but revises or changes the names of some components, leading to the six components of gap closing, achievement, progress, graduation, early literacy and college, career workforce and military readiness.

For the current school year, the Ohio Department of Education would not be required to create an overall ranking using the ranking system, but should use the components of the state report card to “meaningfully differentiate between school districts and school buildings for the purposes of complying with any reporting or accountability provisions prescribed under state and federal law.”

Starting in the next two school years, the new system would begin producing an overall performance rating.

College, career workforce and military readiness will not be factored into the overall performance rating for the current year and the next two years, but will be reported to the ODE. Rules for that component must be submitted to the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review for a public hearing before it can be a part of the report card ranking.

Other data that will be a part of the state report card but not factored into the overall performance ranking, under the bill, would fall under the “student opportunity profile measure.”

That measure would include the average ratio of teachers, school counselors, nurses, licensed librarians, social workers and mental health professionals per student in each grade level.

Other data would include student enrollment percentages in classes like physical education, AP and Honors courses and gifted students.

A report on the effectiveness of these state report cards is also required under the bill, with a deadline of December 2024 for study of the previous three school years.

A state report card review committee will also be a part of the bill if the House agrees to the changes made in the Senate-approved version. That committee will be made up of legislative representatives, the state superintendent of public instruction, teachers from different educational levels and a K-12 parent.

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Susan Tebben
Susan Tebben

Susan Tebben is an award-winning journalist with a decade of experience covering Ohio news, including courts and crime, Appalachian social issues, government, education, diversity and culture. She has worked for The Newark Advocate, The Glasgow Daily Times, The Athens Messenger, and WOUB Public Media. She has also had work featured on National Public Radio.

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