New Local Report Card moves districts toward accountability

By Cathleen Heidelberg
Director of Data, Assessment & Accountability
Center for Achievement & Leadership Services

School districts today are implementing a more “data-driven” approach to school improvement. District leadership, building leadership and teacher-based teams are using a variety of relevant, timely, and actionable data, both summative and formative, to inform their decisions regarding curriculum, instruction, intervention, professional development and support services. 

This data-driven culture promotes a greater level of accountability and transparency regarding student results. Ohio has incorporated student results into the new Ohio Principal Evaluation System (OPES) and Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES). It has also increased the number of measures that will be included on the new district/building Local Report Card (LRC).

The new LRC will increase the public’s awareness of these measures by reporting the relevant data on an annual basis in an interactive format that is readily accessible via the Internet through the Ohio Department of Education’s website.

Old Local Report Card Measures
In the recent past, four measures were used to rate district/building performance.  The first three were achievement measures. The fourth was a progress, or growth, measure.

Achievement is a measure that presents a snapshot of a student’s performance at a single point in time as compared to a given standard or benchmark. Results are expressed as a level of proficiency. There were three achievement measures included on the old LRC.

  • Performance Index (PI) is a weighted average that takes into account the achievement level of every student on every state test taken. Each level of achievement has an assigned value: Advanced is worth 1.2; Accelerated, 1.1; Proficient, 1.0; Basic, .6; Limited, .4; and Untested, .0. These weighted values are multiplied by the percent of students scoring at that level. Results are added together to calculate the overall PI for the district/building. If every student scored at a “proficient” level on every test taken, the district’s overall PI would be 100. PI for a district/building could range from 0 to 120.
  • State Performance Indicators – There have been 26 indicators on the LRC; 24 indicators relate to OAA and OGT test results. To meet a state test indicator, 75 percent of the students tested must score at a “proficient” level or higher for the subject/grade level. For 11th grade OGT indicators, the benchmark was 85 percent “proficient” or higher. There were also state indicators for attendance rate (target 93 percent) and graduation rate (target 90 percent).
  • Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) has been a measure of achievement in which targets, or benchmarks, are set for the percent of students in subgroups who must be “proficient” on reading and mathematics OAA/OGT tests. No Child Left Behind legislation required that the targets to be increased each year. Targets, or benchmarks, were either “Met” or “Not Met” for specific subgroups of students, including Asian/Pacific Islander, Black/Non-Hispanic, American Indian/Native American, Hispanic, Multi-Racial, White/Non-Hispanic, Economically Disadvantaged, Students with Disabilities and Limited English Proficient. There were four ways to meet the targets.

Progress is a measure that indicates how much “gain” or “growth” a student makes over time, typically from one year to another year. It compares each student’s performance to his/her previous performance on a similar test. There was one Progress, or Growth, measure on the old LRC.

  • Progress or Growth (also referred to as the Value-Added measure) indicates the academic progress students have made as a group from one year to another.  The growth measure was reported as “above expected growth,” “at expected growth,” or “below expected growth” for one year for a group of students. 

The district/building earned one of six overall ratings, or state designations, on the old LRC: Excellent with Distinction, Excellent, Effective, Continuous Improvement, Academic Watch or Academic Emergency.

New Local Report Card Components and Measures
On the new LRC, districts and schools will no longer receive ratings, or designations. Instead they will receive A-F letter grades in six broad categories, or components.  An overall grade for the district/building will be a combination of the grades for all six components.

 The six components and the specific measures included in each are the following:

  • Achievement
    • Performance Index
    • State Performance Indicators
  • Gap Closing
    • Annual Measureable Objectives – closing the achievement gap for 10 subgroups on reading, math and graduation rate (in place of AYP)
  • Graduation Rate
    • Four-Year Rate
    • Five-Year Rate
  • Progress
    • Value-Added Composite for District/Building
    • Value-Added for Students Identified as Gifted
    • Value-Added for Students with Disabilities
    • Value-Added for Students in the Lowest 20 percent in Achievement
    • Value-Added for High School (added in August 2016)
  • K-3 Literacy
    • K-3 Literacy Improvement (Third Grade Guarantee)
  • Prepared for Success
    • College Admission Test (Participation, Non-Remediation Score)
    • Dual Enrollment Credits
    • Industry Credentials
    • Honors Diplomas Awarded
    • AP Participation and Scores
    • IB Participation and Scores
    • College and Career Ready Assessments (tentative)

In August 2013, districts received A-F letter grades for nine specific measures. In August 2014, one more measure will be added. The six component grades and the overall district/school grade will not be issued until August 2015. This will give schools time to adjust to the new system and to focus efforts on being successful in all areas being measured.

The A-F letter grades for the six components and for overall district/school performance are believed to be easier for the general public to understand. Letter grades are familiar to parents and community members. Whether this belief is accurate remains to be seen, but what is already apparent is that there are many more measures that Ohio’s educators will be held accountable for in the future.