What’s Really In a Grade?

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20″ />The Ohio Department of Education recently released information pertaining to the local school district results on the State Report Card. The Loveland City School District earned a designation as “Excellent” as determined by the department of education. Loveland met 26 of the 26 indicators as established as established by the state, met Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) as determined by the federal department, and met the value-added growth expectations.

We did well by the state standards – ODE said we are Excellent. So, why am I not jumping up and down with excitement, spreading the good news of our recent state success? Because there is a different headline I want to promote: The Loveland School District plans to create new way of reporting.

Confused?

Let me ask you a question: How can you grade the total quality of education a school provides based on a one-day test given once a year?

The answer is – you really can’t.

Our community values a complete educational experience that includes the arts, health and wellness education, athletic opportunities, and a true partnership between parents and educators. Loveland doesn’t shy away from accountability –we hold ourselves to a significantly greater standard.

So, as a district – along with several other districts in our area – we are working to create a more complete report card. We want a report card that accurately reports our performance to our taxpayers, identifies areas for improvement so we can better serve students, and celebrates successes in order to build on our strengths.

We know that students that are active in extracurricular activities perform better in academics – we want to quantify our students’ diverse experiences and develop means to expand opportunities for students to experience learning opportunities outside the traditional classroom.

We know that colleges and university use nationally scored, proven valid assessments as predictors of college readiness – this year Loveland will be administering the Explore, Plan, and PSAT assessments to students in eighth, tenth, and eleventh grades. These scores will be reported annually on our own report card.

Furthermore, our elementary and intermediate students also use professionally developed, scored, and reliable assessments – we will report these scores too.

Finally, we will continue to survey our students and parents. In fact, we will be expanding opportunities for both qualitative and quantitative data. Technology provides us new, efficient, and effective means to gather information from our constituents. Our community has traditionally provided strong support for our schools – we will never take that for granted. I firmly believe any school success is rooted in a strong partnership between parents and schools. We have amazing teachers and staff member who are supported by dedicated, loving parents. We want to know your perspectives, thoughts, and suggestions. Our surveys will provide you the opportunity to provide statistical data that will drive our decisions and improvement, but we also want to hear your stories. After all, education isn’t just about the numbers. Education is about changing and shaping lives. Education is about preparing the next generation of leaders for this great country.

The Loveland City School District is proud of our accomplishments – the myriad of accolades we received due to the performance of our students. We are proud Loveland High School is ranked among the best high schools in America by U.S. News and World Report. We are proud to be among the first Green Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education. We are blessed to have students learning about our ecosystem through hands-on experiences at Granny’s Garden School. We celebrate the Loveland Show Choir earning a silver medal at the World Choir Games and share in the joy of winning our first Eastern Cincinnati Conference championships this fall. We are excited every year we send our graduates off to college, the military, and the workforce. We are eager to hear of their success as leaders and proud as our Tiger Family continues to contribute to our world.

The bottom line: A school district can’t be ranked and judged by a series of single day state assessments – a school district has the immense responsibility to prepare our student for tomorrow . . . today.