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The rigor of the AIR tests was witnessed by all with the release of the 2015-2016 local report cards on Sept. 15th.
We've put together a list of quotes from various sources in response to the release of the 2016 report card:
“This year’s report cards and the grades we’re seeing reflect a system in transition.”—Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria
If ODE is the only sponsor allowed to open new schools and they are rated ineffective, that’s not fair.
“I think you want to keep these numbers in context. It’s a system in transition.”—Chris Wollard, senior executive director for ODE’s Accountability and Continuous Improvement
“It’s going to take a while for our students in our schools to adjust to these new standards, but rather than get all upset and worry and fret about the scores … just keep in mind we’re trying to elevate the level of education that’s being given in the state.”—Sen. Peggy Lehner, Chair, Senate Education Committee
“These new expectations and the accompanying measures are the new benchmark. Our students and schools have not performed worse, in fact many have performed better.”—Lisa Grey, The Ohio Standard Coalition
“This year’s report cards are a continuation of years of misguided state policies that place entirely too much emphasis on standardized test scores and not enough focus on what our schools are doing to provide high quality learning opportunities for students.”—Ohio Education Association President Becky Higgins
“I know today’s results are difficult for many to understand because the report cards are overly complicated. The letter grades don’t necessarily represent the learning that is going on every day in our classrooms. In fact, 14 of the 16 report card categories are based, at least in part, on standardized tests.”—Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni
“It makes it look like everybody in Ohio is a moron. That’s not a reflection of our work.”—John Haswell, Shadyside Local Schools superintendent
“When more than 99 percent of our third-grade students reach reading benchmarks and the state awards us an F for third-grade literacy, people begin questioning the methodology.”—John Kellogg, Westerville schools superintendent
“I don’t know how one could expect anybody who hears this sort of presentation to have any faith left in the measures of the state Department of Education.”—Julie Keegan, Worthington schools board member
“We have an expert and dedicated teaching staff. They did not suddenly forget how to teach, and our students did not suddenly forget how to learn. The question of how and why all these high-performing districts received F’s in these categories (progress and gap closing) needs to be directed to the people who designed this system.”—Todd Hoadley, Dublin schools superintendent
“We’re confident that the experiences we provided last year are better than ever, but this system doesn’t validate that or allow us to make those comparisons. Here I sit today, knowing that even if I make 20 percent improvement on all the indicators, our report card will look even worse next year than it does this year.”—Bill Wise, South-Western schools superintendent
“The cut scores were set after the kids took the tests and based upon how they performed. This is not an objective standard, rather it is extremely subjective (ie, “how many kids do we want to see pass and how many do we want to see fail?”)—Sarah Fowler, State Board of Education
“The gap between low-income students and their wealthier counterparts continued, regardless of the more stringent measures on school district report cards.”—Ohio Education Policy Institute report
“We, as responsible school leaders, welcome accountability and transparency and recognize that Ohio’s accountability system is in transition. However, it is difficult to utilize a report card that is a constantly changing document, made up of flawed components. This report card does not consistently measure how local school districts are actually performing.”—Akron Area Association of Superintendents
“We knew and expected test results to go down, but we also know that some of the metrics are flawed. The information is just so confusing and misleading. The big question is how can so many schools in Ohio do so poorly and how does this reflect on our state, when it comes to education, nationally?”—Patricia Clearly, Barberton superintendent
“When a system swings that much, you know something is significantly wrong with the measurements. The state report card, which is based on an inconsistent system of accountability, is not a formative tool and because it is inconsistent, we cannot compare data from year to year. We’re comparing apples, oranges and bananas.”—Ellen McWilliams-Wood, Akron Public Schools assistant superintendent
“We’re proud of our students’ performance and our staff’s effort to prepare our students, but we believe there is a whole lot more that goes into education than one standardized test, taken on one day. We view the report card as a snapshot of indicators around a specific standardized test. We use a national test that measures student progress as a formative tool.”—Phillip Herman, Hudson schools superintendent
“The target is constantly changing. We’re dealing with three different tests in three years…and we’re seeing changes in calculations every year. All of these changes make it difficult, if not impossible, to use the data from the report cards to inform instruction and make comparisons from year to year.”—Mike Bayer, Stark Educational Services Center director of curriculum and instruction