School superintendents are shocked as they open their district’s report cards. Grades are dropping sharply in districts all over the Buckeye state and emotions are running high.
Barnesville got an “F,” Bellaire, Martins Ferry and Union Local all got “D’s,” Bridgeport got a “C,” and St. Clairsville got a “B.”
All over the state, school districts’ grades have dropped like a rock.
“Every one around the state is lower. There were 37 school districts last year, indicator-wise, that got an “A.” There are six this year,” said John Haswell, Shadyside Superintendent.
“Which is point zero-zero-nine-eight percent of schools performed at the ‘A’ level. That’s tough,” said Ben Porter Union Local Superintendent.
They say students are stressed out and pressured about testing, starting at an early age.
“When you have 3rd graders who have to pass a third grade reading guarantee to move on to the fourth grade, there’s an extreme amount of pressure on those kids,” said Porter.
“If you’re a good test taker, you’re going to do real well. There are kids who are extremely intelligent that aren’t good test takers. In my opinion, these tests do nothing to tell us about what our students know and how they perform,” said Haswell.
Haswell says Shadyside’s “D” was just three and a half students away from a “B.” Porter says he appreciates the need for rigorous standards.
“It can’t be so high expectations that kids can’t reach those. And I think that’s what we’re looking at right now,” said Porter.
Haswell says much of the data is worthless because it’s based on several tests that will never be given again.
He says the ever-changing statewide tests can make good districts look bad on paper.
“Bottom line is, Barnesville is not an ‘F’ District. Shadyside is not a ‘D’ district when it comes to all these things. It’s ridiculous the way we’re painted,” said Haswell.
“Don’t judge a book by it’s cover,” said Porter.