State report cards need to be re-examined, says state school board member Lisa Woods
"It is clear that many taxpayers, Ohio policy makers, and educational professionals do not have confidence in the current report card,"
Woods resolution reads, "The Board seeks to both investigate the reasons why the current report card does not properly reflect educational attainment in Ohio and further seeks to provide a true performance measurement that will appropriately measure learning in Ohio's public schools."
Ohio's state report cards have been revised multiple times over the last two decades, with the most recent overhaul not even fully rolled out yet.
Board members and legislators alike have expressed frustration with them. Complaints range from them being too complicated, to having too many measures to the A-F grades being too judgmental.
"It's just that it's too complicated," she said. "We want accountability, we do, but it needs to be simple and understandable."
Woods said school officials and parents have told her that they do not trust report card measures like Value Added, which gauges whether students made a year's worth of progress during a school year.
"If you have more challenging students, it shouldn't make it harder for you to do well," Woods said. "I don't think it's fair and doesn't show true learning?"
The Fordham Institute recommended cutting the 15 grades on next fall's report cards to six. They also recognized the concerns with Value Added in its recent report and was open to changes.
"Given the complexity of value added, policymakers might consider alternative approaches to gauging student growth." While value added is regarded by many researchers as a rigorous method, perhaps a less complex model might strengthen public understanding." *
December 13, 2017
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