Cincinnati Public Schools raised its "Gap Closing" score from an F to a B in one year, and 14 schools improved their overall grade, according to the 2019 District Report Card released today by the Ohio Department of Education.
Three schools earned an A in the Graduation Rate component: Clark Montessori High School, School for Creative and Performing Arts and Walnut Hills High School. Shroder Paideia High School and Gamble Montessori High School recorded a B.
The most notable achievement for the district is in the Gap Closing category, which indicates how groups of students perform on state tests and also includes the graduation rate for high schools. The district jumped three letter grades, earning a B this year.
"Results like this do not happen by accident. They are the result of a lot of planning, commitment from teachers and staff, and a laser-like focus on student achievement," said Superintendent Laura Mitchell.
A total of 18 schools made improvements in Gap Closing. Bond Hill Academy, College Hill Fundamental Academy and Woodford Paideia Academy achieved an A in this category. At the high school level, Aiken New Tech High School and Hughes STEM High School climbed two letter grades, earning a C.
Nine schools earned an A for the second consecutive year in Gap Closing: Covedale School, Dater Montessori School, Evanston Academy, Fairview-Clifton German Language School, Hyde Park School, Mt. Airy School, Sands Montessori School, Spencer Center for Gifted and Exceptional Students and Walnut Hills High School.
The 2019 District Report Card provides a snapshot of information measuring district and school performance in these areas — K-3 Literacy, Progress, Achievement, Gap Closing, Graduation Rate and Prepared for Success — assigning letter grades in each category, as well as an overall grade.
There's much to celebrate at Evanston Academy, a neighborhood Vision 2020 school. The school earned an A overall. In the achievement category, which measure students' overall test performance, Evanston jumped two letter grades, earning a B.
Walnut Hills High School also earned an overall grade of A. Five schools scored an overall grade of a B: Covedale School, Dater Montessori School, Hyde Park School, Kilgour School and Sands Montessori School.
Progress, or Value Added, is another category where CPS schools made improvements. The measure calculates the growth that all students are making based on their past performances. Two schools improved to an A this year — Carson School and Evanston Academy. Roberts Academy hit the A mark for the third consecutive year.
In K-3 Literacy, nine schools, including seven neighborhood schools, earned a B: Chase School, Evanston Academy, George Hays- Jennie Porter School, Hyde Park School, Fairview-Clifton German Language School, Rockdale Academy, Sands Montessori, Sayler Park School and Winton Hills Academy. William H. Taft Elementary School earned an A for the second consecutive year.
Ninety-eight percent of CPS third-graders met the Third Grade Reading Guarantee for promotion to fourth grade.
The four-year graduation rate is on the rise, increasing from 74.7 percent for the Class of 2017 to 77.9 percent for the Class of 2018. The four-year and five-year graduation rates are trending upward, and CPS is on-track to reach the district’s graduation goals.
In August, the school district rolled out a three-year Strategic Plan outlining its commitment to Academic Achievement, Personal Well–Being and Career Readiness, with a focus on five goals: Student-Centered Decision Making, Health and Safety, Community Engagement, Optimized Capabilities and Growth.
Some of the strategic outcomes include accomplishing the following by 2022:
- Increasing the graduation rate to 84 percent
- Reaching 100 percent of graduating students declaring a pathway — enrolled in college, enlisted in the military or employed in the workforce
- Increasing the percent of African American students taking AP courses to 80 percent
The district also continues to focus on student achievement at the kindergarten, third grade, sixth grade and ninth grade levels, as noted in the Strategic Plan. There was significant improvement in the Algebra 1 end-of-course exam with scores soaring 15 percentage points over last year.
"While we are pleased that CPS is making progress in many areas of the report card, the district is focused on an overall, well-rounded educational experience," Mitchell said.
"We always review all data that we receive to observe growth and determine areas for improvement," Mitchell said. "However, while we consider all data, including that on the state report card, we do not make decisions based upon one report."
Mitchell said its recently adopted Strategic Plan exemplifies how the district gathers input. "We also actively solicit input from our students, staff, parents and community to define and measure student, school, and district achievements," she said.
Deputy Superintendent Tianay Amat and other district officials will address the CPS Board of Education at its September 16 meeting to discuss the results of the 2019 State Report Card and outline the plan for improvement.
"We want to do better, and we will do better. Our steps are deliberate and strategic, as noted in our recently adopted Strategic Plan," Amat said.
For more information about the report card, please visit the Ohio Department of Education’s Report Card Resources webpage for a detailed explanation of the information contained within the state report cards, as well as archived report cards for the district and its individual buildings.