Today, the General Assembly passed House Bill 82, legislation that contains comprehensive reforms to the state’s school report card system. In recent years, education groups (including Fordham) have urged the legislature to make improvements to the report card that would make it fairer to schools and easier for Ohioans to understand.
“For two decades, Ohio has provided valuable information about school quality through its report card system,” said Chad L. Aldis, Vice President for Ohio Policy at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. “Despite some important strengths, the current model became unwieldy and less useful with fifteen different ratings and an overemphasis on measures that tracked closely with demographics. The reforms found in this bill greatly improve the report card framework by streamlining its format and creating a more even playing field that gives all schools opportunities to demonstrate success.”
- Decreases the number of rated measures from 15 to 6;
- Shifts Ohio from the controversial A-F grading system to five-star ratings;
- Adds context to star ratings by including supplemental descriptors and trend arrows;
- Maintains a clear, user-friendly “overall” rating that summarizes performance across the various components of the report card;
- Ensures that students’ year-to-year academic progress counts more heavily in the overall rating (progress measures are more poverty-neutral); and
- With the exception of the graduation rate component, makes important structural improvements to every component of the report card (see next page for an overview).
“State legislators should be commended for making these smart, commonsense course corrections,” Aldis added. “The new report card will allow Ohio to successfully reboot its school accountability system after pandemic-related pauses, drive academic improvements in schools for the benefit of students, and ensure that Ohio parents have honest, accurate information that helps them choose great schools that work for their kids.”
An overview of the major structural changes to Ohio school report card
* Ohio will release component ratings in 2021-22 but no overall rating will be assigned—it will be introduced in 2022-23. Note that, due to covid-related pauses in school accountability, no ratings will be published for the 2020-21 school year.
** The College, Career, Workforce and Military Readiness component would not be rated (though data would be reported) for the 2021-22 through 2023-24 school years. During that timeframe, ODE will examine these readiness data and create a method that, if approved by the legislature, would introduce a rating for this component starting in 2024-25.