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State Education Leaders See Improvements Through New Report Cards

Andy Chow

School districts all around Ohio are taking a close look at their new report cards. The state-issued analysis includes an overall letter grade for each district. 

Six of the state's eight big urban districts improved from an "F" to a "D." That includes Dayton, which was in danger of a potential state takeover.

State Schools Superintendent Paolo DeMaria says the numbers show steady growth in achievement all around the state.

"Not to be satisfied with a 'D' but the sense I get from all of us is that they're going to leverage this momentum and continue working really aggressively to drive greater improvement," DeMaria says.

And there was also improvement among the top schools. 31 districts got As, up from 28 last year. But a plurality of districts - 46.4%, or 282 - got Cs.

However, several groups continued their criticism of the letter grade system calling it arbitrary and misleading.

“Having a state agency assign an arbitrary letter grade to our local school districts is not a fair way to encourage academic improvement and heighten morale as has been demonstrated by the continued failing grades assigned to some of our poor and urban districts,” said Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron), House minority caucus leader, in a written statement.

DeMaria says the report cards can tell part of the story but encourages people to reach out to district leaders to learn more about what they're schools are doing that can't be measured through these grades.

(NOTE: This has been updated to reflect there were two urban districts last year that had Ds, Akron and Cincinnati.)

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