August 23, 2013
Dear Bedford City Schools Community,
Ohio has just released the results of its newly revamped district and school report cards. The new report card uses an A-F grading system. While we all probably feel like we understand what it means to receive an A or B from our own personal experiences in school, the formulas used to calculate these grades are far more complex than the letter grades we received as students in times past.
The new report card will eventually cover six broad categories: Achievement, Gap Closing, Graduation Rate, Progress, K-3 Literacy and Prepared for Success. Nine measures from some of those categories were graded this year. An overall grade for the school and/or district will not be calculated until August 2015, which will factor in grades from all six categories. Complete report card results are available at the Ohio Department of Education’s website: education.ohio.gov.
The complexity of the new rating system makes it difficult to compare last year’s results to this year’s. Our results were mixed. We did well in some areas and did not do well in others. We are focusing our efforts on understanding the report card’s new components and grading scale in order to formulate and implement improvement strategies.
We were very pleased to have earned an “A” in the Progress (Value-Added) this year, which is a measure of academic growth of individual students. “One year of growth in one year” yields a grade of “C.” Earning an “A” means we exceeded one year’s growth measure.
Performance indicators are still part of this report card, in the category of “Achievement.” This measure is based on the percentage of students who passed state tests. There were 24 academic standards rated this year. We were pleased to see that we continued to increase the number of standards we met, as we have progressively done over the last four years. In 2009, we met six academic standards and this year we attained 13 (not including the attendance standard, which we have met every year.) This amounts to a 117% increase in the number of academic standards achieved!
While we are happy to acknowledge our achievements, we also understand that there is still much work to do. The staff has been busy the past two years preparing for the new Common Core State Standards, which are ready for implementation in 2014. We know that the future exams are going to be more difficult with higher passing rates required to earn a standard, but the staff has been working diligently to address these matters.
We are committed to making a difference, one student at a time, and will engage in best practices for our students to ensure their academic success in the Bedford City Schools. We appreciate your continued support and I look forward to meeting these new challenges with you.
Sherman C. Micsak, Superintendent
Bedford City Schools