School Board Gets the Scoop on State Report Cards
District officials highlight some successes and discuss some challenges at Monday’s school board meeting.
The final scores haven't been released yet.
“There are some really good things that have come out,” said Superintendent Jeff Patterson. “Are there some concerns? Absolutely. We are going to continue to work on those things.”
The district failed to meet state requirements in fifth-grade math and eighth-grade science, and saw a few other categories drop slightly. But, in most cases, student achievement was up across the board.
Mark Gleichauf, the district’s director of teaching and learning, highlighted some of the successes and some of the challenges at the school board’s first meeting of the month on Monday.
He noted that the district met 69 of 80 total indicators. “There are some things we should be proud of.”
Gleichauf said fifth-grade math is one of the trouble spots for schools across the state.
“That doesn’t mean it’s an excuse,” he said.
- The district did not meet its adequate yearly progress — which includes reading and math test passing rates and test participation, attendance and graduation rates. That could drop last year's "excellent" rating down a notch.
- The attendance rate data is not yet available, however district officials believe that the district will meet the mark.
- The high school graduation rate dropped by more than 10 percent — from 91.4 percent to 81.1 percent — however district officials noted that's partly to blame on a change in how the data is collected. “The graduation rate dropped across the state,” added Patterson.
- Performance Index Scores data wasn’t released, but district officials believe that the district will score a 99 percent, based on its independent calculations.
- The district has a value-added score of “above,” which means that, overall, students in grades 3 to 8 learn more than expected in a year. “I am proud to say that for the fifth-consecutive year, our district had ‘above expected growth,’” said Gleichauf.
Board vice president Ed Favre said among the district's challenges is that quite a few of the students learn English as a second language, making it more difficult for them to catch up.
“I am glad to hear we’re moving in the right direction,” he said.
Because of a scandal in Columbus, the final report card data won’t be available for a few more months, Patterson said.
In the meantime, he suggested putting some of the difficult math problems on the projector for each school board meeting, highlighting some of the challenges teachers face.
“And maybe we could put those instructions in French, so we can get a sense for what these (English-as-a-second-language) students are up against,” said board member Linda Beebe.