The 2017-2018 Report Card was released on Thursday. Overall, I am extremely proud of our students and staff for the work that they do every single day. The Otsego Community places an extremely high value on education and expects us to provide a well-rounded experience that prepares students for success in college, career and life. This type of education goes far beyond what is measured by the report cards issued by the Ohio Department of Education, which focus primarily on the results of standardized tests. This information is only a small piece of the puzzle. Testing will never be our sole focus at Otsego, and we will never teach to a test. Our students will always be our number one focus. We cannot solely rely on the data outlined in the state report card to make improvements for a multitude of reasons, and we are constantly working together as a team to ensure positive outcomes for our students. I walk around the buildings every single day, and I am blown away by what our students are learning in our classrooms. We continue to work towards modernizing our student's educational experiences through the use of technology, hands-on learning through cooperative projects, and providing them real-world experiences.
There are some really great things on the report card. One area that I will highlight is our Progress Data or Value-Added Component. When you look at all of our students and measure the progress of all students in grades 4-8 in Reading and Math our score was an A. Value-added is a statistical analysis that measures the academic growth rates of groups of students over time. If our district had received a C for this measure, it would have meant that our students met a year’s growth or the expected growth. Otsego received an overall A for this measurement, which means that our students made significantly more than a year’s expected growth. This is a better measurement than just looking at one test on one particular day that most of the other data points measure because value-added measures the growth over time.
Another area to highlight is Gap Closing. The Gap Closing component shows how well schools are meeting the performance expectations for our most vulnerable populations of students in English language arts, math, and graduation. The past couple of years we received an F in this category, but we have been working hard to improve growth for all students and are delighted to see that the data supports what we know we are working on every day. This year we received a B for this component. While this is great news, we will continue to strive to make growth in all areas for all students.
Below is a chart, showing some of the changes in the report card over the past 3 years. The areas highlighted above are also included in this comparison.
Our results are similar to our surrounding schools and throughout the entire State of Ohio. Public and Charter Schools statewide results are as follows: 33 schools received an A, 217 received a B (Otsego), 308 received a C, 217 received a D, and 93 districts received an F. Otsego's score is higher than 71% of public and charter schools in the State of Ohio!
We do our own data collecting on students that gives us much more feedback on students than one test on one day. This year we are implementing a couple new initiatives to continue improving in all areas, but specifically data collection for each student. We are using a new diagnostic test called iReady in grades K-11 in the areas of Math and Reading to progress monitor all students using the same tool. We were fortunate to receive a grant through a partnership with Bowling Green State University and Toledo for iReady for the next two years. This will allow us to better measure student growth from year to year more often than once a year through state testing. We will be using this data, along with discipline data, attendance data, and academic data (grades and state test scores) to develop a Student Early Warning System, so that we can identify students that may be at risk in one or more areas in a faster, more accurate manner.
I cannot thank the students, staff, parents, and the Otsego Community enough for their hard work. It takes the support and dedication of the entire community, and we sure have a lot of it here. I know I say this all the time, but it sure is great to be an Otsego Knight!
Schools and districts report information for the Ohio School Report Cards on specific measures within six broader components. The components are Achievement, Progress, Gap Closing, Graduation Rate, Improving At-Risk K-3 Readers and Prepared for Success. Schools and districts earn letter grades on each of the six components, most of the individual measures and an overall summative rating. This helps give Ohio parents and schools a snapshot of the quality of education they are providing their students.