Large local suburban schools: Report card grades show many C’s, some A’s

8:06 a.m. Friday, Sept. 15, 2017 Local
Susan Peveler, principal of Shaw Elementary in Beavercreek, plays a pattern-matching game with fifth-grade students last month. Beavercreek schools earned an “A” for student growth on the state report card. JEREMY P. KELLEY/STAFF

Larger suburban school districts in the Dayton area generally got middling achievement scores on state report card for the second year in a row, but several of them got A’s for student growth year-over-year.

Springboro and Bellbrook earned B’s on the achievement grade, posting the highest performance index scores in the region after Oakwood and Waynesville.

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But a litany of large districts got C’s, including Beavercreek, Centerville, Kettering, Lebanon, Northmont and Miamisburg. For Beavercreek and Centerville, that was a drop from the B’s they got last year.

All of those districts saw their performance index go up this year, but their achievement grades were held down because the state raised the bar in “test indicators” for the second year in a row.

In order for a school or district to get credit for each state test indicator, a certain percentage of students have to score proficient or better on that test. Chris Woolard, senior director of accountability for the Ohio Department of Education, said two years ago, a district just had to exceed the state average proficiency level.

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Last year, the report card raised the bar halfway to 80 percent from that state average, wherever it fell for each test. This year, Woolard said, the state raised the bar the rest of the way to 80 percent.

That’s where it was for years with the old Ohio Achievement tests, but the new exams are harder, and very few districts met those standards. In Montgomery County, 14 of the 16 school districts got F’s in the “testing indicators met” — all but Oakwood, with and “A” and Brookville, with a “D”.

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Large suburban schools scored higher on the progress component of the report card, which measures year-over-year student growth on state tests. Among the districts getting A’s in progress were Centerville, Beavercreek, Springboro, Miamisburg, Northmont and Piqua.

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Miamisburg’s overall growth score, sometimes called “value added,” was among the top 25 in the state.

On the other side, Fairborn, Xenia and Mad River schools all were given F’s on the progress grade – the second straight F’s for Mad River and Xenia.

The large suburban districts were again middle-of-the-pack on the K-3 Literacy grade, which measures whether schools get their struggling readers get back on track to proficiency between kindergarten and third grade.

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No district got an “A” or an “F” on that category. Beavercreek, Lebanon and Vandalia-Butler led the way with B’s, while most earned C’s.

Chris Stewart
Sheri Steeber, a seventh-grade math teacher at the new Jacob Coy Middle School in Beavercreek, prepares her classroom for the start of the school year. The new middle school and new adjoining Trebein Elementary School share a kitchen, common technology infrastructure and mechanical systems including a geothermal heating and cooling system. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF

In graduation rate, Northmont and Beavercreek topped 96 percent in graduation rate, followed by Springboro’s 95 percent, and Centerville and Troy at 94 percent. Mad River and Xenia were at the low end of graduation rate among larger suburban schools, at 81 and 85 percent, respectively. Huber Heights, Piqua, West Carrollton and Fairborn all fell between 87 and 90 percent.

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