By Jeff Gallatin
Superintendent Mike Zalar said he was pleased after North Olmsted City Schools met 23 of 24 performance indicators on the recently released 2012-2013 state report card.
“Generally, I am pleased with the district’s overall performance on the new state report card,” Zalar said. “If the same metrics were used this year that were used last year, the district would have earned the rating “Excellent With Distinction” for the eighth consecutive year. That is amazing, and I attribute it to the great parents, teachers and principals who are working hard every day to make sure our students grow and achieve at the highest levels.”
Overall, the district received mostly A’s and B’s in the grading system. Zalar said the district will be looking to improve in areas that were low, with the district’s lowest score a D in annual measurable objectives, which replaces the adequate yearly progress category which reviewed specific groups of students.
“The new report card does highlight some areas that need to be improved. Districts can no longer hide the historically lower performance of low-income students, students with special needs or students with language barriers,” he said. “By disaggregating the data, a spotlight is focused on the achievement gap between high-performing students and students from these and other subgroups. We have to do a better job in meeting the individual learning needs of all students. Closing this achievement gap is our biggest challenge.
“Public education continues to operate under increasing pressure to reform. The new grade card is just one of many new state and federal initiatives. We are also preparing for the new Common Core State Standards, the Third Grade Reading Guarantee and new evaluation systems for both teachers and principals,” he said. “These are all unfunded mandates which require significant amounts of time, money and energy from our staff. I am proud of our North Olmsted teachers for stepping up and meeting these challenges head on. For example, teachers voluntarily agreed to extend their work day this year. Students now have time built in at the end of the day to meet with teachers and receive extra help for those areas they are struggling with. I am confident that this will help improve student achievement on future report cards.”