Academic growth reported in CCS

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Columbus City Schools got a boost by a report released by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) on Dec. 13, which demonstrates Columbus City Schools (CCS) students have realized over a year’s worth of academic growth within a normal school year’s time under CCS’s revamped programs.

The report is referred to as "Value Added," and it assesses the intellectual progress of students in a normal school year in the areas of mathematics and reading to determine if they are getting at least a year’s worth of learning.

Jeff Warner, district spokesperson, said this serves as proof the district is on the right track. "I think the message is our teachers and students are doing the right things, the right way," said Warner.

Karla Carruthers, public affairs spokesperson for ODE, said ODE reviews two years of data from each school district in Ohio and based on a mathematical formula, places each district in Ohio in one of three categories for their performance: green for above average, yellow for about average and red for below average.

"Half the district is green, a quarter is yellow and a quarter is below average," said Carruthers. "This is the first year we’ve done this, but we’re doing this every year, going forward."

For the 2006-2007 school year, CCS students’ experienced 1.4 years of learning for all grade levels, indicating CCS is performing "above average." In addition, the mathematics scores demonstrated a CCS growth rate of 2.9 years across all grades in the district.

Harris was very pleased with the ODE’s report and said this is more proof that CCS is on the right track.

"From several different sources and several different measures, our progress is showing up in CCS. I’m so proud of what our teachers and our parents are doing for our children and all the support our principals give to make sure our children are improving; because after all, it really is all about them. It’s not about us, it’s not about the data, it really is at the end of the day all about them," said Harris.

Warner said this report helps the district assess what CCS is doing right and where they can make improvements.

"We’re focusing on the data to make decisions and plan lessons and I think the cumulative result is we’ll have higher achievement scores in the future. This is really building toward the future, it’s not a snapshot in time; it’s building toward a sustainable effort and goal," said Warner.

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