Two of Butler County’s 10 school districts raised their overall grades according to initial state report cards released Thursday morning.
Hamilton and New Miami schools both went from a D rating to C in the overall grade released by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) as part of its annual report card on all Ohio school districts.
Talawanda Schools dropped from a B to C.
For the second consecutive year Middletown Schools earned an overall grade of D and the district is now the only one in Butler County with that grade.
In southern Warren County Mason Schools increased its overall grade from B to an A, which is only the second A – Oakwood Schools in Dayton earned the same overall mark - by a district in Southwest Ohio.
The grades, which are compiled largely from student performance on exams, are from the 2018-2019 school year.
This is only the second year the ODE has used overall letter grades for each district in Ohio.
A more detailed report beyond letter grades is scheduled to be released later today.
More than half of each school’s overall grade depends on how students perform on state tests each spring. Six factors are nearly evenly weighted — achievement, progress and “gap closing” on state tests, plus graduation rate, improvement in K-3 reading, and a “prepared for success” measure based on high school accomplishments.
Butler County’s largest school system, the 16,500-student Lakota district again earned an overall grade of B as did Monroe, Madison and Ross schools.
Fairfield and Edgewood earned Cs for the second consecutive school year.
And in Warren County Kings also earned a B for the second year in a row.
Parts of state and federal law require ODE to produce a detailed state report card for schools with data in certain categories. The level of disagreement over the process is such that the report card has simultaneously been called too complicated and too simplistic.
The state test results that form the backbone of the report card have long been closely correlated to wealth and poverty. Schools in higher-income communities generally test well, while those in lower-income areas usually score lower.
The Journal-News will report more as information becomes available.