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Proposals would change school report cards, in very different ways

Jeremy P. Kelley, Dayton Daily News |

Two competing bills to revamp the K-12 state report card for schools have been introduced, but a state school board committee declined this week to endorse either of them.

Both bills have only had their introductory hearing so far, and it’s not clear whether one bill will advance nearly as-is, or whether amendments will create a compromise bill. Ohio’s largest teachers union, the Ohio Education Association, said it is just an “interested party” on both bills for now.

House Bill 200 – Revise the state report card and school accountability system; primary sponsors Don Jones, District 95 and Phillip M. Robinson, Jr. District 6

Senate Bill 145 – Revise the state report card system; primary sponsor Andrew O. Brenner, District 19

The Ohio Department of Education’s comparison document expressed several equity concerns about HB 200 — limiting “prepared for success” measures only to students who graduate, eliminating students who switch schools from K-3 literacy scores, and excluding subgroup scores (such as Black, low-income, etc.) if a school has fewer than 20 students in the category.

According to an analysis by Ohio’s Legislative Service Commission, HB 200 includes more forgiving ways of calculating a school’s performance index on state tests, its year-over-year student progress, and its success with early-grade reading improvement.

Senate Bill 145, which was introduced more recently, would continue the use of an overall rating for each school or district, and would put more weight on the core state-test-based measures of achievement and year-over-year progress.

The state board of education’s legislative committee approved a report card resolution Thursday. Like House Bill 200, the resolution supported elimination of the A-F letter grade rating system. And like Senate Bill 145, it supported creation of an “equity” component, making sure performance of all student groups continues to be assessed.

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