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,

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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Perkins, Perkins, Perkins! Ugh!


Congratulations Gunner and Board!


20 out of 24 standards met. Yes, Congratulations!


You're proud of having the most F's in the area and not one A? Even Sandusky got an A!


Did you even look at why we received F's? Maybe it will help you to understand the dynamic of the situation.


I didn't read the article (I went to but isn't it a little early to be grading the schools? The year hasn't started yet.

Alissa Widman Neese's picture
Alissa Widman Neese

The scores are from the past school year.


My apologies I didn't read the article.


LOL maybe you should have read the article...


My bad, should have read the article I guess.


These scores are a beautiful example of how socioeconomic status is directly correlated to academic success. No one wants to talk about that. Instead we want to blame someone. The more affluent a district, the better the success academically. Prove me wrong.


Ok, Wes. Look at the scores prior to open enrollment. Some years were worse than this year. Port Clinton, Huron, Edison, Margaretta, Oak Harbor...affluent? I look at those districts as being equal to Perkins and they're getting the job done...even with open enrollment. Oh, and their schools are old, as well.

Perkins started open enrollment in 2008.

District Scores 2003 - 2013

03-04 Effective (Buccieri)
04-05 Effective
05-06 Continuous Improvement
06-07 Continuous Improvement
07-08 Effective (Rechtenwald/Gunner)
08-09 Effective
09-10 Excellent
10-11 Effective
11-12 Effective

12-13 Achievement - B
Gap Closing - F
Progress - F
Disability Students - D
Gifted - C
Lowest 20% - F
Value Added - F
Graduation Rate - B

Ohio gives public schools and districts one of six ratings. The state does not award schools letter grades, but the official ratings can be roughly translated as follows:

Excellent With Distinction = A+
Excellent = A
Effective = B
Continuous Improvement = C
Academic Watch = D
Academic Emergency = F


The scores are a direct result of open enrollment. Say what you will, but very, very few students from a low socioeconomic status home open enrolled in the districts you mentioned. Only in Perkins did this influx occur.


I somewhat agree with you, Wes but why the low scores prior to 2008 when we started offering open enrollment? 88% of our open enrollment students are from Sandusky. Is this what you are referencing? Is our problem related to: Teachers? STEM? Multi Age? Open Enrollment? Just trying to figure out why we're trending lower and why the grades were worse even prior to open enrollment.


No Wes. Gunner and his BOE will tell you that open enrollment is only good and beneficial to the district. There are no negatives - academically or socially -to open enrollment.

44870 South

ummm...excuse me, but your superintendent said open enrolled students are outperforming traditional Perkins students...they can't blame it on open enrollment.


" some cases..." please don't quote someone unless you do it correctly. You could get into hot water for misquoting someone. Actually, it's against the law.


Wes, using the slander and defamation card. "Against the law" What charge would that be? Kind of like, "I didn't know Margaretta played sports". Anyway, Gunner started the program at Perkins in 2008 for fiscal reasons so he should defend it. Also, you never answered my previous question as to why the poor scores prior to the open enrollment era and Gunner.

44870 South

I guess I will have to go back and scrounge up my newsletters...

44870 South

really?? because I read it right off of a question and answer newsletter that Perkins Schools sent out this summer. The question asked has the decrease in performance on the report card been because of open enrollment? The answer was "NO" and that open enrolled students are in many cases out performing traditional Perkins students....NOW..who's quote is that??? Who is the voice of Perkins Local Schools...last time I checked it was the superintendent.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Would you be in favor of a curriculum shift so that kids are taught economic principles, accounting, home-ec, and other life skills? Economic illiteracy is rampant and a TRUE barrier at worst and high hurdle at best for upward mobility. If you are for such reform you have an ally in me.


Yes, absolutely. Of course, along with such courses returning to the classroom, we ALSO need to return to the classroom accountability for the basics. I don't CARE if you have a laptop (well, yes, I do, but that's beside the point). I CARE if you know how to add and subtract WITHOUT the laptop. I care if you can read. I care if you can speak and write proper English. I care if you understand general American history (and NOT the revisionist crap visible in Common Core).

Really, what difference does it make if a kid knows how to use a laptop when he can't speak well enough to deal with the public? Who cares whether or not you've got a new stadium if a kid can't read at LEAST at his/her grade level?

Yes, it'd be nice if boys and girls alike were taught how to cook, clean, balance a checkbook, hammer a nail, and drive a car (you know, things PARENTS should be teaching, but things parents AREN'T?). But it'd also be nice if we'd stop worrying about new buildings and a laptop in every locker when the reality is that too many students sound (and often are) nearly illiterate.

NOTE: I don't really blame teachers as much as I blame unions, administrators, and crybaby parents. A whole lot of teachers would LIKE to teach, but to do that they need to be able to impose discipline and give out failing grades which, in turn, hold students back until they get PASSING grades. Unfortunately, there are idiots out there (who've gotten us IN to this mess) who are more worried about Johnny's self esteem rather than whether Johnny is actually entitled to any!


I agree. If Johnny could actually do something besides play violent video games, his self esteem wouldn't need to be treated with kid gloves.

Dude i Roc

Exactly- "do something besides play video games." I would hire any kid with with a 4-H background. This tells me that they are motivated to learn and accomplish something independently. They build their own esteem and do not need a pat on the back for their own self-worth.


AMEN Sam Adams, As a former college instructor, I prayed that I would get students who could actually add, subtract, multiply and divide without using a calculator, could write a term paper that was properly constructed and spelled right and could speak without using "um" every other word. I cannot tell you how frustrating it was to stop and reteach basic math to those who couldn't do it. When schools go back to teaching the basics and add life skills we will have it made.


Ummm...economic literacy is MANDATED by the state. Every high school must teach it.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

People are also mandated to always use their turn signal and not murder. What I'm saying is that even though it is mandated, the results speak for themselves. Where is the generation of economically literate and socially mobile kids? Don't mistake me, I share a passion similar to yours in wanting to see an educational paradigm shift to better all students, but it isn't happening right now and that is sad. This just isn't in the content of what is taught but HOW it is taught, too.

Kids, especially those that you reference being from a different socio-economic culture than most in any location, can't conform to the area norms because their home lives, parents, and to an extent access to resources is diminished. So how is that addressed? I am not challenging you on that but seeking a brainstorming session to address the problem.


It is admirable that while you remain ignorant of basic economic principles and are barely literate, you demand that it be mandated for the children.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Please specify your petty insults and name calling. My inferior brain cannot process them.


Are they going by which county the BOE buildings are located, because Bellevue no longer has any schools in Huron County, unless maybe the new Junior high is.


Howz my kid gonna get a jib if'n she cain't spell? Butch, do ya get my draft?


Hey you sandaskians how is this possible especially when Margaretta doesn't even have a school district income tax.. sure am lucky i live in Margaretta school system. don't even have to pay to play ;-))


I didn't know that Margaretta played sports. Sorry. That was mean.


Margaretta has its fair share Of troublemakers they just have money


@ lc040103

But, you do realize that cow tipping is an officially sanctioned


Gotta love how everyone pokes fun of Margaretta for farming, yet everyone around here seems to want to eat. Did they learn in these schools that food doesn't just appear in a grocery store--that it is farmers who actually grow food and ingredients to make food? Bet you're not as quick to poke fun when your tummies are growling.

Edwin Ison

There is a reason some are in a certain socioeconomic status and DNA has the most to do with educational success.

The refusal of administrators(Sanders etc.)to acknowledge the correlation of socioeconomic status to educational results is a typical "head in the sand" stance that administrators take, this is because they (Sanders etc.) have an easy, built in scapegoat to blame, the working teachers.

Take the staff from Huron and Sandusky, trade kids and see if the results follow the kids, or the teachers.

How did Sanders do at Cleveland and Toledo with his transformation and other nonsense?


Oh, I'm totally sure you're right. After all, we all know that it's not your fault if you're too poor to borrow a free book from the library, or your DNA qualifies you only to blame your DNA for your failures! People from poor backgrounds never, NEVER climb out of poverty; people with the "wrong" DNA never, NEVER go on to be ANYthing of value to society. Yeah, why do we bother? Good point!

William Jeffers...

This is all a joke. Run an algorithm which uses the % of home owners vs. renters, % of single vs. 2 parent families, average home value & average family income you'll come up with roughly the same scores.

Good 2 B Me

Maybe we should just spend the money to build a football stadium instead of improving the educational process, Right Gunner?




Sorry, I don't care what these test show. Kids these days are so dependant on computers. I have had so many work for me in the past 10 years that can't spell. They know how to spell it if it is in front of them, but beyond that they are lost. Not to mention their hand writing. Horrible.


I completely agree. There should be no computers in the classroom until students have learned the basics of reading, writing, math, etc. And students shouldn't be deemed to have learned those basics until they're able to pass an actual test without lowering the bar or manipulating scores in any other way.

The inability to spell or write typically spills over into ALL areas of communication. I don't care WHAT you want to be when you grow up; communications abilities are critical, and the dependency on computers you mention is exactly the problem you say it is. I'm only pointing out that that problem extends far beyond the obvious!


Some of the most brilliant people I have ever met, genius level, were poor spellers. Be careful of correlating spelling ability with anything else. Many scientists, engineers, and doctors have horrible spelling, yet are fantastic in their jobs.


Remember when I was complaining about the level of education in the areas on a decline in sandusky and Perkins and some idiots saying how great sandusky city schools are......and I went a joke and that's why my son doesn't go there... get s grip on this guys, these kids are our economic future and deserve better.


And y'all wondered why Gunner didn't move into the district for his kids to attend Perkins. Now ya know.


His youngest has been out of high school for a couple years now.......nice try.


Report Card for on the parent(s) or guardians would paint a better picture...
Involved in the students education and progress?
Help with home work?
Instill a sense of pride in hard work?
Provide quiet time for studies?
Set a good example for being a productive member of society?

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Brilliant! If I am not mistaken in Japan most teachers have a home-visiting requirement where over the course of the year they go to each student's house to talk to the parents and students personally, outside the school. It allows for more personal communication outside an official venue as well it lets the teacher see the conditions in which his/her student is living to take into consideration when working with that student. I suppose to a point, too, it could be a preliminary social-worker-style visit to make sure the kid isn't living in squalor but that job is for someone who does that for a primary career. It could also better inter-service communication and bring resources to people who need it but don't know to ask or don't wish to do so publicly.


The grades aren't poor because of economic status, the status is poor because of the grades. You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. No one ever says that, because everyone is afraid of the sow's ear.


It all is a vicious cycle.


Does Gunner have a shirt that says "Trust me I'm a Doctor"?


Do you have a shirt that says "I spend too much time on blogs"?


My son openly admitted that he used to just play games on his laptop in school at Perkins. His grades showed it. Then he wondered why he didn't understand his assignments. The teachers thought the kids were doing actual work and no one really checked. I do not think they are a good idea at all. I did voice my concerns about them, I basically got no where. So trying to be a good parent with a valid concern is not a priority there.


This is an ongoing concern that no one really wants to face when you bring it to the attention of the administration. (And I have.)


It's about parenting. Some kid's parents take an active role in their education. Some don't. A teacher has a kid 6 hours a day for 180 days. That's 12% of the time over a year.

Parents aren't doing their jobs as parents.


Exactly! No one wants to place te responsibility were it actually lies. Did anyone stop to think why Sandusky got a bad grade? Hmm, lets see, the majority of the good students with parents that actually care and off to Huron an Perkins during open enrollment because they got sick and tired of te half wits that have no parental involvement and interupt class time making it difficult for the students there who actually want to learn. Either no parental involvement or the half wit parents cry victims that little Johnny isn't getting a fair shake. Sandusky is a good school system. Thank god my kid will be in higher classes this year and won't have to worry about the other kids or their parents that don't give a rats *ss and make it harder for the teachers to do their jobs. This certainly isn't only the schools fault.


Well said. Which is precisely what most of the yes voters for this levy are. Parents wanting to mask the real problems by buying more things with the taxpayers footing the bill. A feeling of entitlement while spoiling little Johnny even when the test scores aren't deserving of such entitlements.


Maybe your hypothetical Johnny does have good test scores. Maybe Johnny's father is on the BOE.

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.


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


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".


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.


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!


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?


New Salem


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.