BG school district sees growth in state report card

Gifted classroom at Kenwood

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN

BG Independent News

 

This Bowling Green report card may make the refrigerator door.

The state released its school report cards this morning – a moment that many districts await with great anxiety. Bowling Green City School District shows improvement in student achievement and gap closing for students. It also shows continued “A”s for progress and graduation rates.

And overall, the district received a final grade of “B.”

The state did not award overall grades last year. But if it had assigned grades, Bowling Green would definitely have scored lower last year, according to Ann McCarty, executive director of teaching and learning for BG Schools.

Most importantly, Superintendent Francis Scruci said this morning, is the fact that the district continues to score high for student progress, and has shown improvement in closing the gaps for students.

“We are showing progress and we are showing growth,” Scruci said. “We’re showing improvement and that’s the most important thing.”

“Our goal is to make sure a kid grows at least one grade level every school year,” he said. “We’re doing straight ‘A’ work in that area.”

The state report card gave BG City Schools an “A” for the growth of students from one year to the next. The district received a “B” for gap closing. That looks at how well the district meets expectations for vulnerable students in English language arts, math and graduation.

“When you’re looking at measures that mean something, certainly those are areas that mean something,” Scruci said.

Though there is plenty for the district to be proud of in the preliminary report, Scruci said he realizes there is still room for improvement. While B is a good overall grade, the district needs to keep aiming for an A.

“Until we have that, we’ve got work to do,” he said.

The district also scored two “D”s on the state report card.

Scruci repeated his belief that the state report cards use a flawed system for scoring schools.

“It’s a convoluted formula. It’s a formula with a flaw,” he said.

At a special board meeting earlier this week, school board members questioned how the district could receive a grade of “D” in the “prepared for success” category – yet an “A” for graduation rates.

That is just one example, McCarty said, of the flawed results in state testing. Bowling Green’s grade is hurt by the state’s metric measuring four- and five-year graduation rates. Since Bowling Green High School graduates students in four years, it is penalized.

“We’re getting punished because we don’t have a five-year graduation rate,” McCarty said.

The scoring is “unusually cruel,” McCarty said.

McCarty also addressed the preliminary “D” for improving at-risk kindergarten through third grade readers. In the last three years, the district has gone from an “F” to a “C” and this year to a “D.” That lower grade is because the district has worked to identify more students who could benefit from reading help.

“It’s punishing us because we spread the net wider, so we didn’t miss any students,” McCarty said.

Scruci agreed that the district’s efforts sometime work against it when it comes to state report cards.

“We’re our own worst enemy,” he said. “Those will be areas that we will continue to try to figure out.”

The state report cards also rank school districts by the percentage of school funds that are spent on classroom instruction. In Bowling Green, that is 71.3 percent. When ranked with other school districts of similar size, Bowling Green came in 15 out of 113 – with 1 being the highest percentage spent on classroom instruction.

Following are the grades given to the district, a breakdown of school buildings in the district, and a list of overall grades for other school districts in Wood County.

Bowling Green City Schools

Achievement – C: The number of students who passed the state tests and how well they performed on them. Last year’s grade: D

Gap closing – B: How well schools are meeting performance expectations for the most vulnerable students in English language arts, math and graduation. Last year’s grade: D

Improving at-risk K-3 readers – D: How successful the school is at getting struggling readers on track to proficiency in third grade and beyond. Last year’s grade: C

Progress – A: The growth that all students are making based on their past performances. Last year’s grade: A

Graduation rate – A: The percent of students who are successfully finishing high school with a diploma in four or five years. Last year’s grade: A

Prepared for success – D: Whether training in a technical field or preparing for work or college, this looks at how well prepared students are for all future opportunities. Last year’s grade: C

Individual buildings in the district

Bowling Green High School

  • Overall: B
  • Achievement: C
  • Gap closing: B
  • Improving at-risk K-3 readers: NR
  • Progress: B
  • Graduation rate: A
  • Prepared for success: D

Bowling Green Middle School

  • Overall: B
  • Achievement: C
  • Gap closing: B
  • Improving at-risk K-3 readers: NR
  • Progress: A
  • Graduation rate: NR
  • Prepared for success: NR

Conneaut Elementary School

  • Overall: C
  • Achievement: C
  • Gap closing: A
  • Improving at-risk K-3 readers: C
  • Progress: D
  • Graduation rate: NR
  • Prepared for success: NR

Crim Elementary School

  • Overall: B
  • Achievement: D
  • Gap closing: A
  • Improving at-risk K-3 readers: D
  • Progress: A
  • Graduation rate: NR
  • Prepared for success: NR

Kenwood Elementary School

  • Overall: C
  • Achievement: D
  • Gap closing: B
  • Improving at-risk K-3 readers: D
  • Progress: B
  • Graduation rate: NR
  • Prepared for success: NR

Final grades given to other school districts in Wood County:

  • Eastwood: B
  • Elmwood: B
  • Lake: D
  • Lakota: C
  • North Baltimore: C
  • Northwood: D
  • Otsego: B
  • Perrysburg: A
  • Rossford: C
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