N.Baltimore unhappy with grades for district
Written by MARIE THOMAS BAIRD Sentinel Education Editor
Wednesday, 28 August 2013 08:47
NORTH BALTIMORE - Officials with North Baltimore Schools are unhappy with the new grades given its district, and are questioning how information was compiled.
The Ohio Department of Education released its new Local Report Card Thursday, giving schools and districts a letter grade, A-F, for student achievement.
North Baltimore overall received two A's, one B, three C's and two F's.
"I want to caution our families and community that there are many factors that determine a rigorous, meaningful education for our students," stated Superintendent Marlene North.
"I don't believe that this does a good job reflecting all the work that we do with our students," she added. "We certainly have some work to do, but we will continue to focus on the needs of our students and do our best."
She pointed out that despite getting C's on two value added components, the district received an overall F in that area.
Also, Powell Elementary students passed the same number of indicators as the previous year (7 of 10) and the middle school passed all six indicators again.
The high school missed one indicator, in 10th-grade social studies, but the district was appealing that number.
She quoted another state schools superintendent in stating that with the new report cards, "the constant changing of the rules almost seems to be designed to make our schools look bad."
Bob Falkenstein, middle/high school principal, pointed out that the overall academic indicator results given both the high school and middle school were A's. The school's graduate rate rankings also were A's.
But he questioned discrepancies between the ODE calculations and his own on 10th-grade testing results.
ODE did not include summer Ohio Graduation Test results, taken in June.
"The gains we made from student testing in June were not included in our final high school grade card," he stated. "There was no way to include the data since the state required reporting before all test results were available."
In the past, OGT results were included in calculating indicator percentages for reading, writing, math, social studies and science.
"I am disappointed by it and there is no appeals process," he added.
It doesn't sit well with him that ODE is avoiding a process they themselves put in place.
He said he is awaiting answers from ODE to his questions.
The district's report card can be found at http://education.ohio.gov/.
Also at the meeting, the board thanked CPS Plastics, of North Baltimore, and members of the Senecal family for all the time, labor and financial support at the football stadium.
The initial intent was to reroof the concession stand, but the group ended up repairing and repainting the bleachers as well as repainting the facilities.
"It is your work that's allowing us such pride in our facilities," North said, praising the group.
She presented each with a football game pass.
The board also:
• Approved continuing its membership with the Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy for the 2013-14 school year.
The state's school funding "is not adequate and not equal," said North.
• Renewed its agreement with the North Baltimore Police Department to provide security at school events for $2,500.
• Approved a $500 donation for student consumable school supplies for the middle school, from Church of the Good Shepherd.
• Approved an agreement with Great Lakes Biomedical for student drug and alcohol testing for 2013-14, for an estimated cost of $6,000.