State report cards due Thursday; why schools’ scores may rise

The annual state report cards grading Ohio public schools are expected to be released Thursday, according to the Ohio Department of Education. The report cards are largely based on state exams that students took in spring 2017.

State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria said in July that preliminary test scores for 2016-17 were better, with proficiency levels higher than the year before on 15 of the 16 pre-high school tests. In 2015-16, many schools had seen their grades drop.

RELATED: Early report shows test scores higher

One reason for the 2016-17 improvement could be that after a few years of huge changes, Ohio students took largely the same tests as the year before — exams designed by the American Institutes for Research, with input from Ohio educators.

Schools and districts will not receive an overall letter grade on this year’s report card. Instead, they will get six component grades measuring overall achievement, year-over-year progress, kindergarten-to-third-grade literacy improvement, graduation rate, gap closing between certain demographic groups of students, and a “prepared for success” measure that tracks things like honors diplomas, college entrance test scores, industry credentials and more.

RELATED: Take a look back at last year’s report card scores

ODE officials said there are no new measures on the 2016-17 report card, but some old measures dropped off, including 11th grade Ohio Graduation Test scores, since that test has been replaced.

Follow Journal-News education reporter Michael D. Clark on Twitter on Thursday, as report cards will be released at mid-morning. Michael will analyze the data of local school districts throughout the day.

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