Xenia shows improvement in some report card grades


By Scott Halasz - shalasz@aimmediamidwest.com



XENIA — For the second year in a row, Xenia Community Schools showed dramatic improvement in a key component of its state report card released Sept. 13.

The district went from an F to a C in gap closing, meeting 71.9 percent of the annual measurable goals in 2017-18 compared to 34.5 percent of the goals the year before. Gap closing shows how well schools are meeting the performance expectations for the most vulnerable populations of students in English language arts, math and graduation. Annual measurable objectives measure the academic performance of specific groups of students, such as racial and demographic groups. Each group is compared against the collective performance of all Ohio students in that group.

New this year, the Ohio Department of Education also gave districts an overall grade, factoring in performance in all six report card components: achievement, progress, gap closing, graduation rate, K-3 literacy and prepared for success. Xenia received a D, but district officials dismissed letter grades and focused on the actual improvement.

”The measures used to evaluate our district do not reflect all of the progress we have made,” the district said in a press release. “In most report card areas, we have exceeded the average state growth. Overall, Xenia Community Schools has improved in 62 percent of our tested areas. Significant gains were made across the content areas.”

Xenia received a C in graduation rate and a D in achievement, progress and improving at-risk K-3 readers (formerly called K-3 literacy). It received an an F in the prepared for success component. Last year the district received a C in graduation rate, a D in achievement, an F in progress, a C in K-3 reading, and a D in prepared for success.

Achievement measures if student performance met thresholds and how well students performed on tests overall (performance index). The performance index dropped .3 percent to 66.5 and the district met one of 24 indicators, similar to last year when students were required to score higher to meet an indicator.

Progress looks closely at the growth that all students are making based on their past performances. Gifted students improved from an F to a C, while the overall, lowest 20 percent in achievement and students with disabilities all received an F. A grade of C indicates students are making expected progress. Higher or lower indicates better or worse progress.

Xenia’s four-year graduation rate of 85.2 percent was up .3 percent, while its five-year rate of 88.2 percent was down .5 percent.

The overall success rate for K-3 reading improvement is down 10 percent to 32.7, however 98.3 percent of third graders met the requirements for promotion to fourth grade, up from the previous year’s 95.8 percent.

Prepared for success examines the number of students who earned a remediation-free score on all parts of the ACT or SAT, earned an honors diploma, and/or earned an industry-recognized credential. Bonus points were also available. The overall score was down from meeting 35.7 percent of the state benchmark to 33.5 percent, but the cutoff to receive a D was higher for 2017-18 than the previous year.

“We are proud to share that 99 percent of our third grade students were promoted to fourth grade,” said Superintendent Dr. Gabe Lofton. “We have made great gains and the progress will continue. The measurement tool the state uses to assign grades and points to tested areas and areas of achievement is not a reflection of Xenia teachers or students. When you look at our report card data, you can not under value the gains that we have made from year to year. We have improved in more than half of the tested areas. That is significant.”

By Scott Halasz

shalasz@aimmediamidwest.com

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.