PIQUA — Piqua City Schools received mixed results on the first portion of the Local Report Card for the 2014-15 school year, which was released on Thursday by the Ohio Department of Education.
The state issued letter grades in the categories of K-3 Literacy, 4-Year Graduation Rate, and 5-Year Graduation Rate. While PCS performed well in the two latter categories, the district fell short in the former.
The K-3 Literacy category is designed to determine whether or not more students are learning to read in kindergarten though third grade. The district received a grade of “D” in this area, with 46.6 percent of students — 162 out of 348 — on-track in reading skills.
In the area of K-3 Literacy for the 2014-15 school year:
• 98 kindergarten students were not on-track last year.
— 50 percent of those students improved to on-track in first grade.
• 106 first grade students were not on-track last year.
— 57.5 percent of those students improved to on-track in second grade
• 61 second grade students were not on-track last year
— 14.8 percent of those students improved to on-track in third grade
• 83 third grade students were not on-track last year
— 51.8 percent of those students reach proficiency on the third grade OAA.
Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee ensures that students are successful in reading before moving on to fourth grade. Schools must provide support for struggling readers in early grades. If a child appears to be falling behind in reading, the school will immediately start a Reading Improvement and Monitoring Plan.
The Graduation Rate category represents the percentage of students who entered the ninth grade and graduated four and five years later. In both areas, PCS received a grade of “B.”
The 4-Year Graduation Rate applies to class of 2014 students who graduated within four years, that is, students who entered ninth grade in 2011 and graduated by 2014. According to the report card, 90.4 percent of PCS students met this goal. The state average is 82.1 percent.
For the 5-Year Graduation, 90.6 percent of the district’s students met the goal, which required students to enter ninth grade in 2010 and graduate by 2014. The state average for this category is 84.5 percent.
The second portion of the report card, which includes much of the widely debated Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessments, will be released in February. According to a press release from the school district, this data is being released nearly a year after students took these one-time tests.
The state legislature ended the Ohio’s involvement with PARCC assessments after just one year because of public outcry at the length of time and “overly burdensome” tests that students were expected to sit for during the 2014-15 school year, the press release stated. Also called into question was the validity of the assessments themselves and the amount of time it would take for the state to provide any level of accurate data to the local school districts.
District Superintendent Rick Hanes said in the press release that he is “all for high standards and expectations. That’s why I’ve focused so much on increasing Piqua City Schools’ academic achievement and expanding opportunities for students to be more prepared for college and the workforce.”
However, Hanes continued, “You must have consistency and accurate measurements in order to hold school districts accountable and this report card has neither of those necessary components.”
A request for elaboration on these statements and reactions to the report card results had not been answered by Hanes as of press time Friday.
Local Report Card data can be viewed by district at http://reportcard.education.ohio.gov/Pages/District-Search.aspx.
Reach Belinda M. Paschal at (937) 451-3341.