COVINGTON — The local report cards recently released from the Ohio Department of Education were a mixed bag for Covington schools, who received low scores in regard to state testing and high marks in regard to graduation and literacy rates.
“I do not believe that the grades we receive from the Ohio Department of Education accurately reflect all of the wonderful things that are happening within the Covington Exempted Village School District,” Superintendent Gene Gooding said.
The district received an F under the Progress component, which looks at the growth that all students are making based on their past performances on state testing. Under the Achievement component, the district received a D, which represents the number of students who passed the state tests and how well they performed on them. Under that component, the district also received a 74.4 percent for their performance index and 36 percent for indicators met.
During the Covington Board of Education meeting Thursday evening, Board President Dean Pond remarked that bad scores from a small number of students can throw the scoring for the entire district off balance.
“When you put it all together, we got a really good school system, and we have a lot to be proud of, and the state does not have a lot to be proud of because every year they’ve changed it, and it’s been declared invalid three times,” Pond said.
While the district may not agree with all of the findings on the local report card, they still plan to use it to learn from and to better their schools.
“While I believe that there are serious flaws with the state assessments as a whole, we will analyze the data that we receive from these tests and use it as part of our effort to continuously improve our school district,” Gooding said.
The district also received high marks and average grades for other components.
“I think we need to highlight the graduation rate, the literacy… those are very important,” Pond said during the board meeting.
Covington schools received an A in the K-3 Literacy component, which looks at how successful the school is at getting struggling readers on track to proficiency in the third grade and up.
“Our students are receiving high quality instruction everyday from their classroom teachers. In addition, we have fantastic new language arts resources that work hand-in-hand with our new one-to-one technology program,” Gooding said. “In Covington, we strive to make sure that each student is challenged at their own learning level. We also provide targeted intervention for any student who struggles with reading.”
Covington schools also received an A in regard to graduation rates, showing that 100 percent of students have graduated within the last five years.
”Our teachers and staff members provide an excellent education that prepares our students very well for graduation,” Gooding said. “However, if a student does become at risk of not graduating, we do offer on-line learning opportunities and credit recovery programs to help them stay on track. Our guidance counselor also works directly with these students and their parents to make sure that everyone is working toward the same path to graduation.”
Other scores on the report card included C grades for the Gap Closing and Prepared for Success components. The Gap Closing component is meant to show how well schools are at meeting the performance expectations for vulnerable populations of students in language arts, math, and graduation while the Prepared for Success component is meant to show how well students are prepared for their future, either in regard to technical training or preparing for college.
Board member Alex Reck noted, “We’re producing as many successful young men and women going out into the workforce as anybody else.”
Gooding reiterated that, while state test scores are important, the district is still focused on their own goals for their students.
”The local report card is just one of many ways to evaluate a school district,” Gooding said. “While we will strive to improve our test scores, we will never lose site of our main goals: to provide our students with a superior education that is in line with our community’s values; to prepare our student to be successful adults and citizens; and to create a safe, caring, and friendly environment in which all students can achieve to the best of their ability.”
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