The annual state report cards on Ohio’s school districts and buildings are out – but without the controversial letter grades.
This year's report cards don't have A-F grades for either districts or buildings, no grades on individual performance measures, no information on student academic growth or on achievement gaps between groups.
State school superintendent Paolo DeMaria said that’s because federal and state tests were suspended after schools were shut in mid-March.
“The fundamental data that’s included in state report cards is based on those assessments that are taken at the end of the year," DeMaria says. "So without that, there’s really very skeletal – the legislature directed us to include only those things for which we had data, and that’s not very much."
The report cards do show a half-point increase in the statewide graduation rate, and more students meeting the “Prepared for Success” measure, such as scoring well on college entrance exams, earning honors diplomas or securing industry recognized credentials.
DeMaria said it’s unclear what report cards might look like next year, since decisions are still being made on federal and state testing and full-time in-person learning for all schools.
“The state board of education took a position on changes to the report card," he said. "I hope to see continuing dialogue about what the long term report card construction and structure looks like, and I think that will have to take some of these issues into account."
The A-F grading system went into effect in 2012, and critics have called it both too simplistic and too complicated.
Gov. Mike DeWine has also said he's open to the idea of making changes to the report cards.