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  Schools’ State Report Card Could Have No Value At All  
  Boardman Local School Graduation Rate At 97.8%:   September 24, 2020 Edition  
     The Ohio Department of Education’s (ODE) annual schools’ report cards were issued last week, but they didn’t feature any grades for districts or buildings this year.
      The ODE said the 2020 reports cards for districts and buildings do not contain overall grades, individual grades or ratings for given components or performance measures.
      “The report cards also do not include any information about student performance on state tests, the academic growth of students during the school year and the extent to which achievement gaps are being addressed for students. This is in keeping with legislation passed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic that also canceled the administration of most state tests for the last portion of the 2019-2020 school year,” the ODE released in a statement.
      The 2020 edition of grades does feature information on graduation rates, Prepared for Success indicators and some other measures.
      The Boardman Local School District’s report card listed enrollment in the system at 3,922 students, noting a four-year graduation rate of 94.1 per cent; and a five-year graduation rate of 97.8 per cent.
      According to the ODE, 1,660 students, or 42.3 per cent of students in the Boardman Local School District are economically disadvantaged.
      The annual report card also shows that 98.8 per cent of students in the third grade met requirements for reading for promotion to the fourth grade.
      “While schools have less information available than in years past, we still emphasize the importance of gauging where students are in terms of academic achievement and using available district data to inform improvement to instruction,” said Paolo DeMaria, superintendent of public instruction. “The education community’s goal is to carry forward the teamwork, collaboration and care we’ve seen since last spring through this new academic year and beyond. We have never been more focused, united and determined to ensure each child is challenged to learn, prepared to pursue a fulfilling post-high school path and empowered to become a resilient, lifelong learner who contributes to society.”
      The Ohio Education Association responded to the release urging an overhaul to the state’s report card system.
      “These latest school and district report cards shine a spotlight on the major problems with the entire report card scheme,” OEA President Scott DiMauro said. “The fact that the state recognizes that any 2020 letter grades and rankings would be useless without spring testing data proves just how overly-reliant the existing grade card system is on standardized tests. If the essential value of the state’s report card system is standardized test results — which do not accurately represent how a student, teacher or school is performing — the state’s current report card system has no value at all.”
 
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