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New report card standards show rating drops


School district report cards are out from the state and they aren't very complimentary.

Cincinnati Public earned two C's, one D and six F's. CPS isn't alone. Superintendent Mary Ronan says scores are down statewide as everyone transitions to a whole new grading system.

"The new state report card will show a significant performance drop from previous years," she says. But, she says, that's not necessarily the case. "District-wide, when we compared our performance level to last year, it was pretty much the same."

Under the old grading system, CPS reports it would have earned a score of 87.5 out of a possible 120 points. That is one point lower than 2012's score of 88.5. Schools did not earn letter grades under the old system.

Read more on the new standards and how they affect ratings in this story from NPR's State Impact Ohio project.

Ronan isn't shying away from the tougher standards. She says the district will embrace them and rise to meet them. However, board members were less diplomatic pointing out teachers are trying to teach to the new Common Core standards while students were tested on the old standards, and then graded based on new criteria.

Here's an example:

Under the old system, Sands Montessori School would have earned an "Excellent with Distinction" rating. However, under the new system, the school earned one A, two B's, two C's and 2 F's.

Click here to see the letter grades for each CPS school along with the rating it would have earned under the old system.

While schools used to receive an overall rating, the state won't phase that back in for two years. The state also hasn't decided how it will weigh each of the seven criteria areas, so school leaders say it wouldn't be correct to average all the letter grades to get one overall grade.

Parents for Public Schools' Executive Director Yolanda Smith is cautioning parents "to be aware of the fact that as the playing field has changed and expectations have increased, that does not necessarily mean that your school has slipped in its academic achievement over the course of this one year. There's a lot that's entailed behind that A-F rating."

Only public school districts are rated by the state. Private and parochial schools do not receive state report cards.

How did other local districts fare?

Find out how your district did using this site from NPR's State Impact Ohio.

You can also click here to search your school on the Ohio Department of Education website. However, please note, the website crashed Thursday morning and it isn't certain when it will be working again.