Kettering’s School Grade Slips — Penalized For AYP — See All School Scores For Montgomery County

The grade given to Kettering City Schools — Continuous Improvement — announced yesterday by Ohio’s Department of Education, for the 2008-2009 school year, is a big disappointment for Kettering. Kettering’s new Report Card gives the details. (See PDF of Kettering’s Report Card.)

As the chart below shows, Kettering had great test scores for the 2008-2009 school year — it met 29 out of 30 indicators (see page 1 of the Report Card) and scored 100.2 Performance Index (see page 3). And, it’s overall composite for “Value Added” Rating was met. (See page 3) Kettering’s scores overall qualified the district for the highest school rating — “Excellent With Distinction.”

But, Kettering was marked down because it failed to show “Adequate Yearly Progress” in Reading Proficiency with two identified groups: Students with Disabilities and Students with Limited English Proficiency. (page 3) The rules concerning AYP are pretty drastic. If a district misses AYP for three consecutive years, it is penalized so that its highest overall score possible is the fourth rank — Continuous Improvement — regardless of how high its other scores might be.

Here are six tables, each a PDF file, showing all of the individual schools in Montgomery County, sorted according to grade ranking:

  1. Excellent With Distinction
  2. Excellent
  3. Effective
  4. Continuous Improvement
  5. Academic Watch
  6. Academic Emergency

mont-districts2This chart shows all of the schools districts in Montgomery County. Trotwood and Kettering both received the fourth rank — Continuous Improvement — but where Kettering score 29 out of 30 indicators, Trotwood scored 11. And, where Kettering scored 100.2 on its Performance Index, Trotwood scored 81.1. It hardly seems fair that districts with such a big difference in scores should be equally rated. But I guess those are the rules. The AYP penalty is severe.

I telephoned Kettering’s Interim Superintendent, Jim Schoenlein, yesterday, and had a good conversation. I telephoned because I wondered if it was possible that The Report Card was in error. It’s hard to understand how a district could have such high scores and still receive a fourth rank grade, and how each individual school in a district could receive a higher ranking than the district’s overall composite rank. The AYP penalty is not spelled out in the Report Card. Dr. Schoenlein said he is writing an article for the Kettering Oakwood Times, explaining the district’s grade, and that he also intends on posting the letter on the district’s web-site. (Addition: See Dr. Schoenlein’s letter here.)

Here is a listing of all of the school buildings in Kettering. Every school in the district was rated either “effective” or “excellent,” each school in the district had a higher score than the composite score given to the district as a whole. The AYP penalty that reduces the evaluation score of a district from the first tier to the fourth tier seems unreasonably severe, and brings into question the validity of the whole system. We need to think through what, as a community, we define as excellence in education. I want to revisit this article — A Great Question: How Can We Tell If a School Is Excellent? — that I wrote a couple of years ago.


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One Response to Kettering’s School Grade Slips — Penalized For AYP — See All School Scores For Montgomery County

  1. dollslikeus says:

    I grew up in Dayton public then later went to Wayne high school it was like skipping two grades .
    But then I am a slow learner I have to shove it in my brain .
    One of my friends in note hand class, at Wayne High School, made a’s I made c she couldn’t do it 6 months latter I could do it over 40 years later if I wanted to.
    So it is not what you learn short term that helps you sometimes it is how long you remember it for .
    I am sure there are a lot of kids like me who test real low but will remember what they are learning years from now and be able to use it then and some who are testing high won’t be able to pass a test next year on the subject they made a A in

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