A record 116 Ohio school districts have been rated excellent and overall student achievement returned to a 10-year high last year, but the statewide graduation rate fell to its lowest in five years, the state’s latest rankings show.
Data released Tuesday show that more schools and districts were rated effective or higher. However, test scores in the fifth and eighth grades — entry points to middle and high schools — failed to meet targets in reading, math, science and social studies. The statewide graduation rate for the previous year also fell to 84.6 percent.
And the Youngstown schools descended into academic emergency, the first district to receive the state’s lowest ranking since the 2004-05 school year. A special distress commission will be dispatched to the Steel Belt city to help administrators on the problem.
About 15 charter schools could be closed for failing to meet state academic performance standards, said state Superintendent Deborah Delisle.
The rankings will serve as a benchmark for judging the success of an overhaul of the state’s ailing public school system that Gov. Ted Strickland championed in his January State of the State address and during this spring’s state budget-writing process.