Wednesday, November 13, 2019 Elyria 24°

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Lorain school CEO emphasizes positives in meeting with academic distress commission


LORAIN — Although Lorain Schools received a failing state report card grade in almost nearly every field, district CEO David Hardy told the academic distress commission Wednesday that it isn’t all bad news.

The commission meeting focused on the report card grades and what they mean for the district. According to the scores released in September, the district received an overall F grade.

The state report card gave the district an F in five of the six components. The highest grade the district received was a D in the “Improving at-risk K-3 Readers” component.

Hardy addressed the grades as challenges to overcome, but he also discussed what improved.

“The challenge ahead is real, we can’t walk away from it because there’s a lot of work that needs to be done,” Hardy said. “All I can say to you now is there’s great spots that we should also highlight.”

The only change seen has been in the “Improving At-Risk K-3 Readers” component, but Hardy said the grade went down from a C in 2017 to a D in 2018, even though the percent of children reading at that grade level increased from 25.6 percent to 27.7 percent. This was due to the report card changing its grading calculation.

Under last year’s report card for the reading component, a C grade included percentages from 23.9 to 49.2. In 2018 a C is 34.9-56.5 percent.

Hardy mentioned the positives from the report card grading that might have been overlooked. The gap closing in 2018 was 33.7 percent of annual measureable objectives, which was an improvement from the 6.4 percent.

The performance index component, which measures the achievement of every student in the district, rose 51.3 percent to 52.4 percent.

The district has to receive at least a C grade in both the value-added component, which measures expected growth, and the performance index for two years in a row to retract itself from the purview of state House Bill 70, which was passed in 2015 and allows for a state takeover of underperforming districts.

The district’s grade for the value-added component didn’t change from last year’s F grade.

Lorain was taken over in the summer of 2017, and CEO David Hardy was placed in charge.

The scores released Sept. 13 were for the previous school year and Hardy’s first with the district.

Contact Bruce Walton at (440) 329-7123 or Follow him on Facebook @BWalton440 or Twitter @BruceWalton.

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