Ohio releases report cards, revealing mixed results at Kent City Schools

Laina Yost

The state of Ohio released their annual academic report cards for each school district, and Kent City Schools received varying grades, including some failing marks.

The report cards are created by analyzing each school district, and are distributed to inform districts on what needs improvement.

While Kent City Schools saw some developments from last year, they also noted some disappointing drops.

Kent City Schools Superintendent George Joseph said that he is not happy with a D in progress, but that he is pleased to see some growth across the board.

“We did see improvements, and we maintain the gifted grade and the lowest 20 percent grade, which are two areas that we were purposefully trying to maintain and improve, and we were successful there,” Joseph said.

In four-year graduation rates, Kent went from a C to an A. Their overall graduation rate was B. Joseph said that he won’t be comfortable until they are at an A overall.

Kent City Schools received an F in gap closing, which shows how well districts are meeting the performance expectations for the most vulnerable populations of students in English language arts, math and graduation.

Joseph wanted to be clear that this is not the only tool they use to judge their performance. Instead, he said they use multiple different resources to evaluate where Kent City Schools are at.

“I hope that our community understands that this is only one of several measures that we use,” Joseph said. “In any other area in business and even higher education, never do you use one grade to determine whether you’re doing appropriately.”

This is the second year since Ohio transitioned to different learning specifications using the multi-state Common Core standards. Forty-two states have adopted the Common Core guidelines that outline what students should know in English language arts and mathematics.

“Anytime you change any assessments in education, it takes several years to adjust to the changes in that assessment and again, I’m thrilled that we’re showing improvement from last year because it’s only been a year and how much change could we possibly do,” Joseph said. “Obviously, the things that we started on from last year definitely have been working, others we need to tweak more.”

In a press conference, Paolo DeMaria, the state superintendent of public instruction, said that he is impressed with the dedication the schools have had.

“Having set high expectations for what our students must know and be able to do, our children and schools are stepping up to the challenge,” DeMaria said. “We’re seeing increases in achievement across the state. I continue to be impressed with the dedication of Ohio’s educators and our students’ desire to learn more and more.”

Joseph said they take the report card very seriously, and will strive toward advancement in the needed areas.

“We’re gonna look at this and see where the gaps are and keep striving towards improving our achievement,” Joseph said.

Streetsboro City Schools, like Kent, scored poorly on their report card. They received a D in achievement and an F in progress. 

A provision called safe harbor gives Ohio schools more time to make changes before they are held accountable for the evaluation. This is the last year safe harbor is in effect.

Laina Yost is an enterprise reporter. Contact her at [email protected].