Norwalk Reflector: Most local school districts are just average

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Most local school districts are just average

By JOE CENTERS • Sep 15, 2018 at 10:00 PM

It was report card time this week for Ohio school districts. For the most part, local schools are just average.

The best among local districts was Edison, which received a B after meeting 14 of the 24 standards set by the Ohio Department of Education.

The worst was Willard, which received a D for meeting just two standards.

Seven of the nine local districts in the Reflector’s readership area received a C, including New London, which met five standards.

New London Superintendent Brad Romano said people should look at more than just the report card.

He said the card is just a part of what the school provides.

“I value accountability and I feel schools should be accountable,” he said. “I just don’t think the report card is a true assessment of what we do.

“We are educating our kids. ... There is a lot that goes into educating these students.

“When they graduate we make sure they are ready for college, for a career or for the service. What you don’t see on the report cards is all of the things we do for the kids. ... So much that can’t be measured on the report card.

“It is not a sum of what we do, just a piece of what we do. Very proud of what we do. Would we like an A? Yes. But there is a lot more that we do.”

Romano broke down the grades throughout the state: 28 districts received an A; 191 received a B; 253 received a C; 122 received a D; and 14 received an F.

“Looking at that, we are doing about as well as everyone else,” Romano said. “I know all of the schools in this area are doing much more than what is on that report card.

“Look at the 28 schools that received an A and look at their economic status. This is what we have to work with and the card is just a piece of what we provide.

“We need to make an improvement with that piece.”

Edison Superintendent Tom Roth said it is “not fair” to compare districts based on the report cards.

“I don’t look at us compared to the other districts,” Roth said. “That is not what it is for. It’s not fair to compare districts. Different districts have different challenges. I came from an urban (Lorain) district and they have a lot more challenges.

“We use it for the data so we can see where we are doing well and not doing well. We were sitting here yesterday with our principals and some of the staff and talked about it. We wanted to dig deep into the numbers.

“I like to look at our progress grade and we did get an A on that. That really shows how much progress our kids made in a year. And the graduation rate we got an A. Everybody should get that.

“You have to look at testing we did. Through the data we can see where we are weak. That is where my staff takes time with the teachaers and principals and find out where our weak areas are and what we need to do. If you use it the right way that’s where I see it as a benefit.”

Monroeville Superintendent Ralph Moore said he likes what he sees with this report card. The district received a C, meeting six of the 24 standards.

“For us, it’s a performance measure,” he said. “I started here four years ago and the state was in a transition period. The testing the kids have now is tougher than it every has been before. We started out near the bottom and we have made significant progress. When our kids were in school, a C wasn’t a great grede. In this system, a C grade is doing what you are supposed to. One of our buildings (7 through 12) got a B. We are among a very few buildings that got a B.”

Moore said this is what is out there and you have make the most of it.

“I don’t know of a perfect accountbility system,” he said. “The only thing you can ask is we be measured the same way. Those of us who don’t have as much as others have to find a way to compete. It’s not a perfect system but I don’t know of a perfect system out there. You can complain about it or embrace it.”



Here are the area school grades, with standards met:

Bellevue (6-of-24) C

Edison (14-of-24) B

Monroeville (6-of-24) C

Norwalk (7-of-24) C

New London (5-of-24) C

Plymouth (6-of-24) C

South Central (7-of-24) C

Western Reserve (7-of-24) C

Willard (2-of-24) D

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