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 Ohio's Education System Ranks 5th in Nation

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
wifostarz Posted - 01/18/2010 : 6:06:56 PM

.pdf file attached

6   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Idefix Posted - 01/21/2010 : 11:28:50 AM
"Ohio also receives credit for teachers' salaries being at least equal to salaries for comparable occupations."

I will save that link!
John Beagle Posted - 01/21/2010 : 10:22:01 AM
Here is a good blog: http://www.stateofohioeducation.com/

Excerpts from the blog

Quality Counts: Why Ohio Ranked 5th

Certainly it's better to be rated 5th instead of 50th when it comes to ranking the quality of Ohio's education system. Over the last ten years Ohio has slowly, but steadily moved upward in these rankings from 25 to 5. Such improvement is a tribute to hard work by many people.

But what exactly is included in this ranking and does it reflect quality of results or something else?

Most of the indicators are not tied to quantifiable results, positive or otherwise. Most of the indicators are tied to a process or establishment of a standard rather than specific results.

The final ranking is a composite rankings of several areas. Below are the areas, grade and rank that contributed to Ohio's overall rank.

Chance for Success C+ (25)
Standards, Assessment & Accountability A ( 3)
Teaching Profession C+ ( 14 )
Finance C+ (18)
Transitions/Alignment B- ( 10)
K-12 Achievement C- ( 14)

Let's start with Ohio's top performing area: Standards, Assessments and Accountability.

Standards, Assessments and Accountability
As much as some among us may not want to admit this, Ohio's strong showing is due in large part to the work done from 1999-08 in creating and implementing comprehensive content standards, aligned assessments and a strong accountability system. Ohio achieves a perfect score of 100% in both standards and assessments primarily due to specific content standards organized by grade in all core subject areas and assessments that include both short and extended response questions in addition to multiple choice test questions.

Only slightly less impressive is Ohio's 91.7% score for our accountability system. Assigning rankings to both Title I and non-Title I schools beyond the use of AYP (required by NCLB) and intervening in failing schools also contributed to Ohio's highest ranked component.

Transitions and Alignment
This section of the rankings also does not deal with efficacy or results but instead focuses on policies that facilitate alignment at crucial transition points in states' education systems: preschool to kindergarten, high school to higher education and high school to the workforce.

Ohio does fairly well when compared to other states, receiving points for having established early childhood standards, establishing kindergarten readiness standards and assessing kindergarten readiness. The transition from K-12 to the workforce could be better, but Ohio does score above average in this area. Unfortunately the transition from high school to college does not fare as well. Passage of the Ohio Core in 2006 addressed college readiness and a college prep standard, but Ohio still lacks alignment of high school credits and assessments with higher education. The good news here is that implementing the ACT or SAT as the primary high school assessment may improve the ranking on this section. Given our failure in this area, we can not be surprised that Ohio continues to rank poorly in college readiness and adult educational attainment.

Teaching Profession
Ohio receives a grade of C+ and a ranking of 14 for the section dealing with the teaching profession. You might think that this section deals with instructional efficacy, but you'd be wrong. This section deals primarily with the existence of standards or requirements but not compliance or performance against standards.

Ohio gains points for having educator and professional development standards, time and funds earmarked for professional development, funded entry-year programs, and standards for mentor teachers. Interestingly enough, Ohio also receives credit for teachers' salaries being at least equal to salaries for comparable occupations.

According to the report, Ohio also receives credit for "linking teacher and student records to assessments results" and "student achievement being tied to teacher evaluations." There may be a few schools or districts that actually have this linkage, but it is not common and certainly not a statewide phenomenon. We'll follow up on this and see if we can determine how these items were scored and why.

Believe it or not, Ohio ranks reasonably well with respect to indicators in the finance section of the rankings. Ohio ranks 18 for school finance with a grade of C+. (Most of the data is from FY07.)

Two items in particular stand out here and contribute to Ohio's better than average standing in this section. Ohio ranks 15th in wealth neutrality with an index of .039 versus the .091 national average. (This index measures the relationship between district funding and local property wealth.) Ohio still has significant variance between the highest and lowest spending district, but our school funding system does a reasonable job at targeting additional resources to less wealthy districts. Also a plus for Ohio is the priority placed on education funding. Ohio ranked 6th (FY07) in the nation for percentage of tax revenues spent on state funding to education.

Chance for Success
The Quality Counts rankings include a section that examines a variety of indicators that contribute to opportunities for individual success. Ohio ranks 25 in this area with a grade of C+. Areas where Ohio scored well included NAEP 4th grade reading results, high school graduation rate, and the percentage of students whose parents are fluent English speakers. Ohio rated lower with respect to steady parental employment, annual income and educational attainment. Lower than average enrollment in kindergarten also dropped Ohio's score in this section.

Student Achievement
Ohio's lowest grade was assigned to the area of student achievement. Even though Ohio was assigned a grade of C- for student achievement, the ranking was 14. (Overall the national average grade for student achievement was D+. )

First the good news: Ohio ranked 10th for 4th grade mathematics achievement, and 12th and 11th respectively for 4th and 8th grade reading achievement based on NAEP scores. Ohio also experienced slightly above average gains in these three areas.

Now the bad news: 8th grade mathematics NAEP scores ranked 17th, but improvement of NAEP scores for 8th grade mathematics ranked 33rd. Ohio also ranks poorly with respect to the percentage of 8th graders scoring at the advanced level in mathematics with a rank of 30.

Advanced Placement scores are also somewhat of a good news/bad news mix. While Ohio saw improvement in the number of students scoring a 3 or better on AP exams, overall Ohio ranked 27, with overall rate of improvement ranked at 23.

Unfortunately, when it comes to mathematics, Ohio has more problems.

Quality Counts also offers "State Mathematics Indicators" that should command our full attention. The ranking looks at Performance, Improvement and Opportunity related to mathematics achievement. "Performance" includes NAEP scores, AP scores, and a measure of the achievement gap in mathematics. The "Improvement" measure looks at the rate of improvement in achievement measures and "Opportunity" assesses the number of students enrolling in Algebra I by 8th grade and the credentials of mathematics teachers.

With the exception of 4th grade mathematics NAEP scores, Ohio rates no better than middle of the pack or worse in this category. Perhaps most disturbing is that while nationally in approximately 18% schools 8th graders enrolled in Algebra I as the norm, in Ohio only 8% of schools met that standard.

Additional Source: State Report Cards from Education Week
Bretland Posted - 01/20/2010 : 08:06:39 AM
"We are not in 5th place in national standardized testing of kids. I wish we were"


Where can we look to find our State standing using this criteria??

Tom B Posted - 01/20/2010 : 12:19:23 AM
I threw away a LOT of information over the holidays, cleaning up a bit as leaving school board. But check out how they measure that in the links. It is not largely about academic results in kids, but in methods used, etc. We are not in 5th place in national standardized testing of kids. I wish we were.
John Beagle Posted - 01/19/2010 : 5:14:13 PM
If we have the 5th best schools, what does this say about the rest of the country.
John Beagle Posted - 01/19/2010 : 5:13:35 PM
In Education Week’s Quality Counts 2010 report released Jan. 14, Ohio’s education system was ranked fifth in the nation.

In 2008 Ohio ranked seventh, and sixth in 2009.

Other states that made up the top five include, Virginia, Massachusetts, New York with the number one ranking being awarded to Maryland.

The 2010 report analyzed several areas including:

* School Finance
* State’s efforts to improving teacher quality
* Standards, Assessments, & Accountability
* Student’s Chance for Success

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