HB 555 encourages student performance and achievement

State Representatives Jerry Stebelton (R-Lancaster) and Jim Butler (R-Oakwood) have announced the Ohio House’s passage of House Bill 555, which creates a new academic performance rating system for public schools and creates a new evaluation process for community school sponsors.

Specifically, House Bill 555 establishes a new school report card system that includes six components:

• achievement status (which includes performance index and performance indicators similar to what exists on the current report card)
• student progress (which includes additional measures to the existing value-added composite measure)
• gap closing (which measures progress toward reducing achievement gaps by 50% over the next six years)
• graduation rate (which will be a separate component rather than combining it with other indicators)
• K-3 literary progress (which will allow proper monitoring of the reading intervention provisions in Senate Bill 316)
• to what extent high school graduates are prepared for success after high school Performance components on the report card will be graded using an A-to-F grading system beginning with the current school year, but no overall grades will be assigned to schools or districts for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years.

“The measures included in House Bill 555 strive to raise performance expectations and encourage schools to achieve more for Ohio’s students,” said Rep. Stebelton, who serves as chairman of the House Education Committee. “We cannot expect our children to succeed when the current system has low expectations, a shockingly high dropout rate and graduates who are unprepared for life after high school. This legislation will improve the way we educate students and help move our education system into the 21st century.”

Additionally, House Bill 555 creates an alternative report card for dropout recovery schools that includes every student every year, and is more comprehensive than the report card for traditional high schools. When fully implemented, this provision will eliminate the current exemption from closure for poor performance.

The legislation also moves away from ranking community school sponsors based solely on school performance and creates a comprehensive evaluation and rating system designed to dramatically raise expectations for community school performance.

“House Bill 555 is a good first step for evaluating school districts’ strengths and weaknesses so they can accurately assess their performance and improve their effectiveness,” said Rep. Butler. “Having a report card for district and school performance with easy-to-understand components will provide parents with a clearer picture of many aspects of their children’s education. The ultimate goal of Ohio’s education system should be ensuring that our schools produce well-rounded graduates who possess the necessary skills to eventually find high-paying jobs. Identifying progress on specific measures of school performance will be helpful toward that end. I’d like to thank Chairman Stebelton and all members of the Ohio General Assembly who voted to make Ohio’s education system more focused on school effectiveness and student preparedness.”

House Bill 555 received bipartisan support in the Ohio House and received no opponent testimony in the House Education Committee. It will now be sent to the Ohio Senate for further consideration and debate.


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