Report cards out for area schools

Huron and Margaretta fared the best, Sandusky worst.
Alissa Widman Neese
Aug 23, 2013

Are Ohio's schools making the grade?

It may be too early to tell, according to the state's tougher, transformed standards.

The Ohio Department of Education released its first revamped grade cards for the state's school districts Thursday, replacing the "excellent with distinction" through "academic emergency" classification with a traditional A through F grading scale.

Look at all the data by clicking HERE or in the embedded content below

The new report cards list letter grades in nine separate areas, including how many overall state standards students met in the previous year. 

They do not, however, include an overall letter grade. Those will appear for the first time in August 2015, state officials said. Some of the individually graded areas will be weighted as more important than others to determine the overall grade.

Locally, Margaretta and Huron students fared the best on the new grading scale. Margaretta Schools received six As and three Bs for this past school year, while Huron Schools received four As, four Bs and one C.

Sandusky Schools, meanwhile, landed the lowest grades in the region, receiving two Fs, two Ds, four Cs and one A — for the district's gifted student programs — on this past year's report card. 

Perkins Schools received three Fs, the most in the area, but balanced out its scores with four Bs, one C and one D.

The new system makes it difficult to compare data to years past, but it should eventually offer a clearer picture of how a school is educating particular groups of students, state officials said. The nine letter grades aim to provide insight into a district's performance on tests, graduation rates, year-to-year improvement and progress in closing achievement gaps between students.

Despite the new data, the region's grades still indicate a typical trend: wealthier, suburban districts continue to fare well in state evaluations, while poorer, urban districts continue to struggle. Over the years, the state's grading systems have generally failed to account for the difficult circumstances facing poorer urban districts, such as poverty issues.  

Overall, not one of the more than 600 districts in the state received all As or all Fs.

Eugene Sanders, Sandusky Schools superintendent, said district officials are disappointed by this year's grades, but they're optimistic for the future.

With plans for district-wide improvement and transformation, including the "Next Level" initiative and the Regional Center for Advanced Academic Studies, a new full-time gifted school, Sanders said he's certain the district can aggressively improve its overall scores by next year.

"I find the scores absolutely unacceptable in terms of what we're capable of doing," Sanders said. "While some students are seeing great success in our schools, we need to address students who aren't succeeding in a way that improves scores across the board. We make no excuses."

Even officials at districts faring well, however, said they plan to dissect the complicated new data and identify areas where students can improve.

"Our team really needs to sit down and dig deep into the data and then take that back to our building principals and teachers," Huron Schools superintendent Dennis Muratori said. "We're very proud of the tremendous effort of our students, faculty and staff, but there are always areas where we can improve instruction and programming."

Complete report cards are available at the Ohio Department of Education's website, ode.state.oh.us.

High web traffic caused the department's website to malfunction shortly after the report card data's 11 a.m. Thursday release time, but the results were available about an hour later.

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Comments

Erie Countian

I agree! It's all about parenting and how much you put into it! So many of today's parents want to blame the schools, the teachers, anyone but themselves! Heaven forbid that a teacher tells them that their "innocent little angel" needs to behave in class, work harder, etc. OR that THEY as parents have the major responsibility in making sure they are raising their children to be intelligent, competent, successful adults someday. It's sickening to see what is going on nowadays...many clueless, idiot parents turning out the next generation of hopeless idiots.

AEversole

Its definitely a lot on the parents, but it is a proven fact that kids whose parents have money are better educated. It is still up to the parents but it is more difficult for a single parent working two deadend jobs and going to school herself to spend the time that a family with wealth can. I am not making excuses it is just that economic rafters into determining how a child will end up. Not always but alot

nonconformist

I sure don't have a lot o money and my child is very well educated. I was a single parent once too so, while I can relate, it's not an excuse. There comes a time when you can either play the victim or you can change your family's situation. Harsh but a reality non the less.

44870 South

I don't care what that report card says. I know for a fact that Sandusky City Schools is a wonderful place to receive a quality education - with outstanding teachers. I've had family graduate from there, even in the last few years, and all have been successful. I have family that also teaches there. I know how hard they work everyday. Bottom line is that if you are doing your job as a PARENT, then your kid will reap the benefits of the schools doing their job. If not, your kid is going to do poorly on standardized tests. Plain and simple. The job of educating a child doesn't end when they leave school at 3pm. It has to continue at HOME! It's no secret that SCS is up against a lot more compared to surrounding districts - Mainly single family households, low-income households, etc. Both being a recipe for a tough road in the educational setting...let's face it. We can compare and contrast all we want but the numbers don't lie across the entire country. That DOES NOT mean that a particular school is "BAD". I do know that Sandusky was very close to getting the "Effective" rating this time, only by a few criteria. The article doesn't highlight the strides that district has made. The current grading system does not allow for the public to see it broken down...A "C" could mean barely a above a "D", or almost a "B".

Nemesis

You're right, up to a point. Here's the problem - you place a kid with strong values in a classroom where all the other students lack values, and cultural entropy ensues. It's easier for a thuglet to be a bad influence than it is for a good student to be a good influence, especially if the good student is outnumbered by thuglets 25 to 1. Sandusky City Schools suffers from a demographic problem. There are classrooms in SCS where 9 out of 10 students are from the third generation of "babies having babies." No parent in their right mind wants to test their parenting by dropping their kid into that sort of cultural context.

JEF

Congratulations Mr. Kurt, the amazing teaching staff, and great students and parents of the Margaretta School District! Your hard work continues to pay off. GO BEARS!

Centauri

With the internet, one can become well educated. I educated myself from library books from decades ago to the modern internet.

I do not possess a PHD but I feel that I can debate anyone with a PHD.

From which university did Lincoln earn his law knowledge?

pianoman

New Salem

Resident51

Heard today that ThorSports offered to pay ALL pay-to-play fees for Perkins students, and there are many more donations than Perkins Schools reported. Can the Sandusky Register or anyone confirm this?

I live here too's picture
I live here too

Come on Sandusky, get it together. This is the future of our city at stake, the best investment we can make is on the kids. I'm not talking just money either, these kids need something to look up to and believe in.

As a Sandusky graduate, I know what the problem is. Get the kids that are not there to learn out of the classroom, so the ones on the fence can have a chance. Bring back a little school spirit, and get rid of the ones you cannot help. You need way harsher penalties for repeat and constant rule breakers that spread their filth to the others with intimidation and ridicule. Sure, it's going to mess up the graduation percentage, but it will help with the quality of the ones that do graduate without a drug addiction and a baby.

Also, your guidance counselors, last time I checked, they gave up a long time ago. You have a bunch of kids going there every day with no direction whatsoever, and you guys let that slide like that is how it is supposed to be. Most kids in this town aren't bad, but mom and dad aren't always around because everybody has to work all the time just to attempt to raise a family around here. The trust is in you guys to show them the power that knowledge and hard work can bring, and to not let that lost cause that sits next to them ruin their outlook.

We haven't all given up on this town, I know I haven't. All politics aside, good schools should be a top priority of any community, because it is the only way to make it better for the long term.

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