The following are excerpts from articles covering Ohio's student achievement gains for the 2003-2004 school year:
"Ohio school children continued to make gains on statewide academic tests this past school year, boosting ratings of schools across the state. Overall, 94 percent of Ohio districts and 90 percent of schools earned rankings in the top three categories of performance on the state's school report card, based on state results released today. About 87 percent of the school districts in the state, including Cincinnati Public Schools, and 80 percent of schools made gains over the previous school year."
"'We see more students reaching higher levels of achievement on state tests,' said Susan Tave Zelman, Ohio superintendent of public instruction. 'We see more districts and schools moving out of academic emergency and academic watch into continuous improvement, [effective] and excellent designations. And we see more districts and schools meeting adequate yearly progress goals under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.'
"Across the state, 64 percent of districts met their yearly progress goals to comply with federal requirements for improvement. ... Under the No Child Left Behind law, schools have to meet annual goals in reading and math for all groups of students, including minorities, those with disabilities and those from low-income families. Eighty-three percent of schools, or 3,239 out of 3,901, made their annual goals under the federal program."
"Student achievement improved in all grades and most subjects, with mathematics leading the way, state officials said. Fourth graders showed improvement in mathematics, with the percentage of students passing up 7.2 percent over the previous year. The state saw smaller gains in fourth-grade science (up 5.5 percent) and fourth-grade reading (up 4.5 percent). Sixth graders made strong gains in mathematics, finishing up 12.8 percentage points to 65.6 percent proficient. More than 78 percent of third graders passed a new reading test, which was added for the first time this past school year. Zelman credited teachers with improving student performance, saying qualified teachers are in classrooms for 93 percent of the core courses taught in Ohio." -- The Cincinnati Post 8-24-04)
"Several districts across the state pulled themselves out of poor academic status and a composite of test scores for all elementary and middle school students continued a five-year upward trend, the Ohio Department of Education reported. ... Just four districts in the state were in academic emergency this year, compared to 16 last year. Thirty-four districts were in academic watch, down from 52 last year, said Mitchell Chester, assistant superintendent for policy and accountability. 'We have what we think are very impressive gains this year,' Mr. Chester said during a conference call with reporters. ... According to data released to The Blade, Toledo's 34,000-student district moved from academic emergency, past the academic watch category, and into the continuous improvement category."-- The Toledo Blade (8-24-04)
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