Every Student Succeeds Act
Numerous changes to Ohio’s educational system continue to take place, and with the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, formerly called No Child Left Behind, more are on the horizon. It is now called, the Every Student Succeeds Act or ESSA. The act was signed into law on December 10, 2015. The goal of ESSA is to provide states with more flexibility in measuring the effectiveness of their schools. Along with the reauthorization will come a revised accountability (report card) system. The Ohio Department of Education is currently working on updating Ohio’s system to include the requirements of ESSA and will submit its plan in September. The major provisions of ESSA include:
- Annual Testing with at least three performance levels
- Reporting of sub group data
- Ratings for Schools and Districts
- Penalties for non tested students
- Identifying poorly performing schools for “targeted and comprehensive support”
- Report cards that are issued annually by December 31
- Teacher Quality
- Challenging English language arts and mathematics academic content standards aligned to credit-bearing remediation-free coursework in state university system
2016 – 17 was considered a “transition year,” so that states can present their school accountability plans to the US Department of Education for approval. States can exceed, but cannot lessen federal requirements. In the meantime, Ohio’s report card components for the 2016 – 17 school year will remain largely the same as last year’s. However, goals (such as passing percentage) will be increased. Following is a brief summary of the report card that is currently scheduled for release in September 2017.
Four years ago Ohio began phasing in a new complicated report card system for buildings and districts. Schools receive letter grades (A-F) on measures like graduation rate and test results. The grades for measures are combined into broad categories called components. Each component also receives a letter grade. Component grades will be combined into an overall grade for the building or district. An overall letter grade is scheduled to be first issued after the 2017 – 18 school year. The phase in of Ohio’s new accountability system began in August of 2013. Below are the components for the next report card which is currently scheduled for release in September 2017.
Achievement: Achievement consists of two measures, Performance Indicators and Performance Index and Gifted Indicator. Performance Indicators show the total passing percentage for each tested area. The percentage of students that must reach proficient or better on last year’s tests to meet or get “credit” for achieving an indicator has been raised to 80% for all tests. The gifted indicator is rolled into Performance Indicators. It has three parts which are based upon indentifying and serving, academic growth, and achievement levels of students who have been identified as gifted. The Performance Index calculates the achievement level of every tested student. Schools and districts are graded based upon how well each student does on all tested subjects and grades. More points are awarded for students achieving at higher levels (advanced, accelerated, proficient, etc.). For the component grade the performance indicators contribute 25% and the performance index 75%.
Progress: The Progress measure looks at the annual improvement or growth for each student. In other words, did a student gain more or less than a year of knowledge? The component rates growth in multiple student groups in addition to overall progress. For the component grade, the all students group will contribute 55%, gifted students 15%, students with disabilities 15 % and students in the lowest 20 percent of achievement statewide 15% .
Gap Closing: Gap Closing is similar to Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). Districts and schools success on meeting passing percentage targets called Annual Measureable Objectives (AMOs) determines the letter grade earned in this component. These targets increase annually. The calculation is based upon passing percentages on the reading and math assessments, and graduation rate for every student group that has 30 or more students. Additional measures are used for grade demotion when a district or building earns an A.
Graduation Rate: The Graduation Rate component includes two measures, the percentage of students that entered the 9th grade and graduated in both four and five years. There are separate targets for each, with the 4 year graduation rate contributing 60% and the 5 year 40% of the component grade.
K-3 Literacy: K-3 literacy measures how well schools and districts help young students who are reading below grade level. It focuses on students who are not on track by comparing their starting progress with their success at meeting reading goals and passing the third grade ELA (English language arts) test.
Prepared for Success: Prepared for success contains six measures that do not receive a grade. The component will be graded based on the percentage of a school or district’s four and five year graduation cohorts that demonstrate college and career readiness by using multiple measures.
Graduation Requirements Class of 2018 and Beyond
The Class of 2018 (2014 - 15 freshmen) and beyond will take seven end-of-course exams in algebra, geometry, science, American history, American government, English I and English II. Additionally, all students will take a nationally recognized college admission exam in 11th grade. In addition to course credit, students graduating in 2018 and beyond will have to meet one of three testing options to qualify for graduation and earn their high school diploma:
- Earn a cumulative score on seven end-of-course exams.
- Earn a “remediation free” score on the ACT, a nationally recognized college admission exam; or
- Earn a cumulative score on an industry-recognized credential or state license for practice in a vocation and achieve a score that demonstrates workforce readiness and employability on a job skills assessment, WorkKeys.
*For the Class of 2018 only, the budget bill authorized two additional options for graduation. These can be found on the Ohio Department of Education website.
Testing 2017 – 18
There are both federal and state requirements with regard to tested grades and subjects. Below are the overall test windows for 2017 - 18. The Ohio Department of Education will announce guidelines for selecting a specified number of consecutive test dates within these windows at a later date.
Ohio State Tests
- Fall 2017: Grade 3 English language arts, Oct. 23-Nov 3; high school end-of-course tests, Dec. 4, 2017-Jan. 12, 2018.
- Spring 2018: English language arts (3 – 8 & high school end of course exams), March 26-April 27; mathematics, science and social studies (3 – 8 & high school end of course exams), April 2-May 11.