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Ohio School Report Cards Come Amid Latest Overhaul Attempt

A classroom at Cleveland's John Hay High School.
Ashton Marra

The Ohio Department of Education this week releases report cards for the state’s more than 600 school districts. The grades comes as a Republican lawmaker continues pushing a bill to, once again, overhaul the report card system.

State Rep. Mike Duffey, of Worthington, says those simple-to-understand letters are hiding essential information about schools. Duffey says the likelihood is low that poor, diverse districts will do well on the A-F report card system, launched four years ago.

Duffey wants a layout showing more comparative data, such as statewide averages. He compares it to what drivers see when operating a car.

“You wouldn’t put an A or an F on the front of your dashboard of your car – you wouldn’t be able to drive it,” Duffey says. “So we need educators and parents to be able to see the data behind what’s going on and how they compare and stack up against other school districts.”

Duffey’s bill comes amid debate among Ohio Board of Education members about whether to keep the A-F grades.

This year’s report cards will include a single overall grade for each school and district. The cards will also control the fate of three Ohio districts: If East Cleveland, Warrensville Heights or Trotwood-Madison receive an overall F grade, the state will intervene and take at least partial control.