The new state report cards are out. If you live in an inner ring suburb this brings a similar measure of dread as having a root canal or finding out that you have water pouring through the kitchen ceiling. These state testing metrics are highly flawed and always tend to favor schools with higher income families and low diversity. We can take some comfort in the fact that this newest round is so flawed that, according to Cleveland.com, “the Ohio Education Association, one of Ohio’s two largest teachers unions, said people should view the grades with ‘considerable caution.’ OEA President Becky Higgins reminded people that the scores are based on tests from PARCC, the multi-state testing consortium that Ohio fired in July.”
Nonetheless, our SEL Schools received “A” grades for value added, gifted value added, and special needs value added, and an overall grade of C, which according to an article that ran today in Cleveland.com, is now the most common grade received, with the number of districts receiving “A” grades dropping from 37 to 6.
The metrics used for state report cards falls far short of telling the whole story of a school district. Yet school rankings, no matter how flawed, will be touted by media outlets, tweeted, posted on Facebook pages, and spread like the plague across the region, creating winners and losers, and sealing the fate of communities. The internet trolls will be at it again, tearing down diverse schools and making cringe-worthy comments.
The real story can’t be found in a score. It’s told through the stories of the families, students, and teachers that make up a district. We plan to keep telling them.