District News

Middletown a part of legislative workgroup

Posted on: March 10, 2021
Ohio House of Representatives seal

Jones & Robinson Introduce Legislation to Improve Ohio’s School Report  Card System 

COLUMBUS – State Representatives Don Jones (R-Freeport) and Phil Robinson (D-Solon) today introduced  legislation that would improve Ohio’s school report card system.  

The proposed legislation would make several changes to Ohio’s current report card system with the intent to change the current system from one of flawed metrics and punitive measures to one that provides a document that schools, parents and communities can understand and use to properly assist when making improvements to a  school. 

“It was our goal through the entirety of this process simplify the state report card, give it real meaning and to  make it more proactive all while continuing to comply with federal guidelines. This new approach will make the  report cards easier for students, teachers, parents and school officials to understand and learn from. From there,  they will have a more streamlined approach in processing any necessary changes that might need to be made to  make each school throughout Ohio as successful as possible,” said Jones.  

The bill would eliminate the current “A” through “F” grading system and replace it with new performance ratings  of “significantly exceeds expectations,” “exceeds expectations,” “meets expectations,” “significantly approaching  expectations,” “moderately approaching expectations” and “in need of support.” It would also require the State  Board of Education to adopt rules to establish performance criteria for performance ratings and a method to assign  them to performance measures. It also does away with the “overall grade” of buildings and school districts, rating  only each component.  

“Our current state report card system isn’t working for schools, students, and our communities,” said Robinson. “With nearly 60 co-sponsors, this bipartisan legislation will begin to help address the long-lasting, systemic issues  in Ohio’s education and end the piecemeal changes approach that has been failing our students. At the heart of  every community is a school and our children. Ohio’s promise of better lives and brighter futures begins in the  classroom. In the same way that our children are more than a letter grade on a test, we know our schools are also  more and can only be better serve our children with a better evaluation system.” 

The legislation is the result of the findings and suggestions from the Ohio Report Card Study Committee,  established in the operating budget of the 133rd General Assembly and an additional, more specialized workgroup  led by Jones and Robinson. Members of the workgroup included Representatives Tracy Richardson and Lisa  Sobecki and Superintendents Cameron Ryba (Strongsville City Schools), Stephanie Starcher (Fort Frye Local  School District) and Marlon Styles (Middletown City Schools). 

Jones and Robinson held a press conference this morning to announce the legislation. They were joined by Dave  Axner (Executive Director of the Buckeye Association of School Administrators), Richard Lewis (Chief 

Executive Officer of the Ohio School Board Association), Jim Rowan (Executive Director of the Ohio Association of School Business Officials) and Superintendents from the working group, Cameron Ryba and Marlon Styles.  To watch the press conference visit https://www.ohiochannel.org/video/press-conference-unveiling-legislation to-improve-ohios-school-report-card-system.  

“This legislation is an important step in improving Ohio’s school report card so that it is a fairer, accurate  reflection of the great work being done in Ohio’s schools,” said Axner. “We applaud the efforts of all involved  as they have worked to create a transparent report card that informs students, parents, educators and communities,  leading to a culture of continuous improvement and excellence in Ohio’s education system.” 

“Nothing about an overall school letter grade properly informs a parent or community about what is going on in  their schools. Just as every student is more than a test score, every school district is more than a letter grade,” said  Lewis. “Thanks to the bipartisan work of Jones and Robinson and school leaders across the state, we can work  together to right this ship and restore the reputation of our schools while providing concise, clear and helpful  information to parents and communities about the educational quality of their schools.” 

“These positive enhancements will allow school districts and schools to tell their stories beyond the test scores  that measure a mere snapshot in time,” said Rowan. “Communities now will be able to learn more than ever  before from their state report card, like learn how many of their students have obtained industry-recognized  credentials or view multiyear trend data. We owe it to parents to provide them a tool that is accurate, fair and  concise. This bill fulfills that promise.” 

The bill has 58 co-sponsors and now awaits an assignment to a standing House committee where it will move  through the legislative process.  


For more information, contact Rep. Jones’s office at (614) 644-8728 or rep95@ohiohouse.gov or Rep. Robinson’s office  at (614) 644-6041 or rep06@ohiohouse.gov.