District News

LM 2014-2015 state report card results

Posted on: February 26, 2016

After numerous delays, the Ohio Department of Education released the second portion of the 2014-2015 Ohio School Report Card on Thursday, Feb. 25.

This latest release includes component grades for Student Achievement, Academic Progress and Gap Closing, based on the results of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test, an assessment that has already been dropped by the state of Ohio.

Problems with deploying these new online tests — plus outcry from school districts and the public over the amount of class time taken up by the tests — prompted Ohio Gov. John Kasich to scrap the PARCC assessment in his biennial budget in June 2015.

In addition to problems with the test roll-out, a large number of Ohio parents chose to not have their students take state assessments, including about 200 such cases at Little Miami. All of these factors together resulted in an incomplete representation of students’ performance, both locally and across the state.

On the latest report card, Little Miami received a “C” in its overall Performance Index, marking a drop from the previous year’s report card. About 4.8 percent of Little Miami students did not take the state assessments, and the state counted those as zeroes against Little Miami’s Performance Index. When those student “opt-outs” are taken out of the Performance Index calculation, Little Miami receives a “B.” Ohio lawmakers approved HB 420 that requires the Ohio Dept. of Education to provide two sets of scores for the 2014-2015 school year, one including “opt-outs” and one without.

Despite the changing landscape of state tests, this report card does show that Little Miami students continue to achieve. The district received an “A” for Overall Progress for students in math and reading in grades 4-8, an “A” in Performance Indicators met and “A’s” in four-year and five-year graduation rates.

“While we believe strongly in accountability, we question the appropriateness of the state releasing this report card based on flawed data,” Little Miami Superintendent Greg Power said. “I think our lawmakers may be using state assessments for something they were never intended: To be used as political instruments.”

State lawmakers seem to agree with Power.

State Rep. Teresa Fedor, the ranking Democrat on the Ohio House Education Committee, was recently quoted the Cleveland Plain Dealer as questioning why the report cards were even released.

“Every grade on these report cards is tainted by unverified, arbitrary, poorly designed and implemented tests that have been thrown out by the Ohio Legislature,” Fedor said.

In the fall, Little Miami released a Quality Profile, which provides a more comprehensive picture of the district beyond state-mandated assessment results. Click here to view the Quality Profile.