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Columbus City Schools Superintendent Says Student Achievement ‘On the Rise’

Lauren Sega Lauren Sega Columbus City Schools Superintendent Says Student Achievement ‘On the Rise’Photo via Columbus City Schools.
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The latest local report card detailing the successes and failings of Columbus City Schools was disputed Tuesday night as CCS Superintendent Dan Good delivered a presentation to the city’s Board of Education.

The district report card showed Fs in achievement, gap closing, progress and graduation rate and a D for preparedness for success.

“There is far more to a child’s learning than what is measured on the state’s Local Report Card,” Good said.

He said despite how the report card looks, student success is steadily growing, and the reason this reality isn’t shown is because of recent changes in indicators, benchmarks and formulas used to gauge achievement of Ohio students.

According to Good’s presentation, more students are graduating (2,263 as of 2016), more third graders (91 percent, up from 42 percent) are ready to read, and 75 percent of students from kindergarten to eighth grade are exceeding their math and reading goals.

Good said instead of focusing on the state report card, people should keep in mind the struggles that urban students are more likely to face, struggles from which most suburban families are safe. CCS educates 7,000 students whose first language isn’t English and 4,000 students who’ve reported being homeless. Good’s presentation reports that 90 percent of CCS students are impacted by poverty.

Good touted the career programs available for high school juniors and seniors, citing a stat that more than a quarter of CCS students are taking career-tech classes and getting As. Others are taking college-level classes, accumulating to nearly 1,300 hours, up from 311 in the 2012-2013 school year.

“There’s still much to do to give every one of our students the greatest opportunities to achieve the state’s indicated targets,” Good said, then stressing the importance of his District Improvement Plan.

The plan is intended to track student progress in real time, offer more freedom to teachers and give each student an individualized learning experience. Along with the plan and hopefully a collective “Yes” vote on the school levy set for the ballot in November, Good hopes to keep numbers rising.

Funds gained from the levy are intended to address the chronic stressors CCS students bring from their homes into the classroom. The largest part (5.58 mills) of the funds would go to daily staffing, which would add on intervention specialists, social workers, nurses and other positions. The rest is dedicated to deferred maintenance and ongoing improvements.

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