Alder puzzled by lower scores
By Jane Beathard
Educators at Jonathan Alder High School are perplexed and puzzled at the decline in value-added scores on the building’s 2011-12 state report card.
A value-added score measures the academic growth of a student during one year. Battelle For Kids developed the formula that determines value-added scores. Those scores are a major component of Ohio’s new teacher rating system, which Alder will implement next year, according to curriculum director Jamie Pund.
The recently issued district report card showed high school students failed to make expected progress in four subjects: citizenship, mathematics, reading and writing. Science numbers were also down, but fell within an acceptable range, Pund said.
“It is as bad as it has ever been at the high school,” said principal Phil Harris.
Value-added scores for the primary, middle and junior high buildings were uneven, but overall better than high school scores.
“As a district, we met the value-added component,” Pund said.
Results of the Ohio Graduation Test (OGT) play into value-added scores at the high school. Yet, last year’s OGT numbers were in direct conflict with the school’s own end-of-course data.
“Our end-of-course data is much better,” Pund said.
That leaves administrators scratching their heads over the difference between OGT and end-of-course results.
Harris suggested high school students have little incentive to perform well on the OGT. However, achieving a high grade on the end-of-course test allows a student to avoid a final exam in that subject.
“We have to look into it,” Pund said.