UPDATE | Local Ohio districts not letting state report card define success

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSAZ) -- UPDATE 9/12/19 @ 9:05 p.m.
Hours after the Ohio Department of Education released its yearly report card, grading each district on several categories, local superintendents are reacting to their district’s ranking.

The Ohio Department of Education released the 2019 school report cards Thursday. (Source: MGN)

“As long as we make yearly growth, and feel like the kids are making growth, that's more important to us,” said South Point Superintendent Mark Christian.

South Point schools earned an overall “C” score for 2019, even with 2018, but Christian says in his 28 years with the district, he has seen improvements.

“This doesn't define us. I even tell teachers, ‘Help every kid reach their full potential and you made me happy. That's all I want you you to do, whatever score we get, we'll live with.’”

In New Boston, the district stayed even with a “D” score.

“New Boston Local Schools strives to ensure all students achieve in academics,” said Superintendent Melinda Burnside in a statement. “The State Report Card indicates a snapshot of student progress but is not inclusive of the progress that we see on a daily basis.  
Our student count is lower than most schools, and our scores have a significant impact in the overall percentage of the tested areas.  For example, 20 students count in taking the 6th grade math, each student is worth 5 percentage points.”

Most districts in southern Ohio ranked either a “C” or “D” with “F” grades when it comes to preparing students for success after graduating. Christian says he blames the lack of resources schools in the region have compared to bigger districts.

“It’s based on AP and advanced courses, and if you don't have the numbers, you can't always offer those courses like the bigger schools can.”

You can find your Ohio district's report card and other resources here.

ORIGINAL STORY 9/12/19 @ 12:16 p.m.
The Ohio Department of Education released the 2019 school report cards Thursday.

You can find your Ohio district's report card and other resources here. West Virginia report cards can be found here. Kentucky's report cards are expected to be released later this month.

No school districts in our region received an "A" grade. Only three school districts in our area received a "B" grade: Bloom-Vernon Schools, Dawson-Bryant Local Schools, and Wheelersburg Local Schools.

Here is a breakdown of how the districts in our area scored:

  • Bloom-Vernon Schools - B
  • Chesapeake Union Exempted Village Schools - C
  • Clay Local Schools - D
  • Dawson-Bryant Local Schools - B
  • Eastern Local Schools - C
  • Fairland Local Schools - C
  • Gallia County Local Schools - D
  • Gallipolis City Schools - D
  • Green Local Schools - C
  • Ironton City Schools - C
  • Jackson City Schools - C
  • Meigs Local Schools - D
  • Minford Local Schools - C
  • New Boston Local Schools - D
  • Northwest Local Schools - C
  • Oak Hill Local Schools - C
  • Portsmouth City Schools - D
  • Rock Hill Schools - C
  • Southern Local Schools - D
  • South Point Local Schools - C
  • Symmes Valley Local Schools - C
  • Valley Local Schools - C
  • Vinton County Local Schools - D
  • Washington-Nile Local Schools - C
  • Wellston City Schools - C
  • Wheelersburg Local Schools - B

State education leaders want to remind parents that these report cards only tell part of the story, "Ohio’s schools and districts have many points of pride to share, and the Department encourages parents, caregivers, community members and business partners to learn what’s happening in their local schools," ODE officials stated in a press release. "Talking with parents and neighbors, browsing school and district websites or visiting schools and meeting educators can provide a more complete picture of students’ educational experiences."

The state as a whole is making improvements, according to ODE officials -- continuing the positive trend the department has seen in recent years. Nearly 80 percent of school districts received a "C" grade or higher. More than 30 percent received a "B" or higher.

About 86 percent of 666 schools in the state improved by at least two letter grades from last year. Also, 106 school districts improved their overall grades from last year.

“This year’s report cards show continuous improvement is ongoing and that, across Ohio, we are getting better and better at challenging, preparing and empowering each child,” stated Paolo DeMaria, superintendent of public instruction. “We are seeing positive results from the focus on equity, partnerships and quality schools for all students. I applaud the hard work by students, teachers, parents and community members that has led to the progress we see. That said, we must keep pushing forward. We will continue to implement Each Child, Our Future, Ohio’s shared strategic plan for education, and keep looking for ways to more effectively serve the state’s 1.7 million students.”

Here are more highlights from the statewide report card:

  • Student proficiency increased for the third consecutive year in both English language arts and mathematics. Overall proficiency rates increased by 0.9 percentage points in English language arts and by 0.6 percentage points in math.
  • All student subgroups—including students with disabilities, students of color, and students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds—increased in proficiency in math and all but one improved in English language arts.
  • Across the state, 56.3 percent of schools increased their Performance Index scores this year.
  • The four-year graduation rate has reached a new high of 85.3 percent for the class of 2018.
  • Approximately 9,125 more students in the class of 2018 earned dual enrollment credits compared to the class of 2017.
  • An additional 2,711 students earned industry-recognized credentials this year.
  • The number of students scoring remediation-free on the ACT or SAT increased by 2,045 compared to last year.