[ back ]
Contract renewal causes debate
The contract extension of superintendent Dr. Bill Wise is drawing some criticism from the community.
At the Aug. 9 South-Western City Schools board of education meeting, Bob Ruth, member of the watchdog group Excellence for South-Western Schools, said he believes the district has been in a downward spiral since Wise took over as the district’s superintendent in 2008.
Ruth noted the district’s graduation rate from 2007 to 2008 dropped (in 2007 the graduation rate was 90 percent and in 2008 the graduation rate fell to 87 percent) and added that only a small number of schools have seen improvements in the Ohio Department of Education’s district report cards.
Board president Randy Reisling disagreed.
“Under the leadership of Dr. Bill Wise, the district has continued to improve its academic performance as evidenced by the fact that as a district, we have achieved a year or more of expected growth for the last two consecutive years,” he said in a statement. “We were commended by the Ohio Department of Education for this accomplishment.”
Reisling went on to say the performance index, which is a measure in the report card that reflects the achievement of every student enrolled in the district for a full academic year, continues to improve.
The past three academic years has shown steadiness in the district’s performance index, according to the ODE report card. For the 2006/07 school year, South-Western had a performance index score of 90.1; in 2007/08 a performance index of 90.1; and in 2008/09 a performance index score of 90.0. The points in the performance index range from zero to 120.
In the value added measure, which represents the progress a district has made with its students since the last school year, South-Western is rated as “Above.” “Above” indicates that greater than one year of progress has been achieved. In reading, the fourth and sixth grades received an “Above” designation, while the fifth, seventh and eighth grades received a “Below” designation, which means that less than one year of progress has been achieved.
In mathematics, the fourth fifth, sixth and eighth grades received an “Above” designation, while the seventh grade was given a “Met” designation. These figures all reflect the 2008/09 school year.
“We know we still have more work to do, but between our value-added and performance index scores, we are steadily improving,” said Reisling.
Last month, the board agreed to extend Wise’s contract through July 2016 citing reasons including outstanding work ethic, fiscal responsibility and academic improvements made under his direction.
In related news, SWCS spokeswoman Sandy Nekoloff said the ODE report card for the 2009/10 school year would be released on Aug. 27.
[ back ]