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Ohio’s students continue to show steady improvement in their academic performance, but will face higher expectations in coming years as learning standards increase, State Superintendent Stan Heffner said Wednesday in releasing the 2010-2011 State Report Card.

View SCHOOL and DISTRICT report cards.

“We want to build on the strong academic progress we are making as we move to a more rigorous set of standards that will better prepare Ohio graduates to be college or career ready,” Heffner said. “All Ohioans should be proud of the hard work our students, educators and parents and guardians have undertaken to improve performance.”

The percentage of students scoring proficient on state tests increased on 21 of 26 indicators, with the strongest gains in third-grade math, eighth-grade math and 10th-grade writing. Overall, students met the state goal on 17 out of 26 indicators, one less than last year. The statewide average for all students’ test scores, known as the Performance Index, jumped 1.7 points to 95, the biggest gain since 2004-2005.

For 2010-2011, the number of districts ranked Excellent with Distinction or Excellent increased by 56 to 352. The number of schools in those same categories grew by 186 to 1,769.

Last year, the State Board of Education adopted the Common Core Standards in English language arts and mathematics, as well as the revisions to Ohio’s Academic Content Standards in science and social studies. The standards will take effect in 2014-2015, when a new generation of online assessments will be implemented. The recently passed state budget also included language that calls for a new system to rank schools and districts for accountability and to help school leaders identify best practices.

“We are going to be increasing expectations with a more rigorous system to ensure we are competitive with the world,” Heffner said.

State and Local Report Cards measure the performance of districts and schools using four measures, including the state indicators drawn from academic tests. Other measures include:

• Value-Added results, which show whether students meet the expected one year of growth for students in grades 3-8 in reading and math. In 2010-2011, 79.5 percent of districts and 81.4 percent of schools met or exceeded expected Value-Added gains.

• The Performance Index looks at the performance of every student, not just those who score proficient or higher. In 2010-11, 89.3 percent of districts and 71 percent of schools improved their Performance Index scores.

• Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) is a federally required component that measures achievement of each student subgroup, including racial and ethnic components. Half of districts (50.6 percent) and nearly 60 percent of schools met AYP in 2010-2011.

The 2010-2011 Report Card also includes two graduation rate measures. The new method more closely tracks when students transfer to or from a school and will replace a previous method that estimated graduation rates. The different method – required by federal law – is provided for information only and will not factor into school and district rankings until the 2011-2012 Report Card. It shows an on-time graduation rate of 78 percent statewide, compared with 84.3 percent using the existing formula.

Article Courtesy of WOIO 19 Action News

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