W-G test scores improve

WAYNESFIELD — As hoped and anticipated, preliminary scores for the Ohio Achievement Assessments (OAA) came back with glowing results for the Waynesfield-Goshen School District.
“The preliminary scores show we have made some significant progress,” Waynesfield-Goshen Superintendent Joanne Kerekes said at the meeting.
Elementary Principal Tim Pence said the preliminary scores show that the district met seven of eight indicators, a first ever for the district. High school students also met 21-of-26 indicators. School board President Tom Brookhart said he was unaware of the district ever achieving that high of a result.
“It is certainly welcome news,” Brookhart said.
District students showed improvement across the board in every category except fifth and seventh grade reading,with the drop in the seventh-grade mathematics being less than one percent.
Kerekes said that district students met every indicator in 10th and 11th grades and achieved an overall average passage rate over all categories of 82 percent. The state requirement for a passing rate is 75 percent. The most significant improvements came in eighth-grade reading (an 11.3 percent improvement), sixth-grade mathematics (15.5), fifth-grade mathematics (10.9), and fourth-grade mathematics (10.7). Third-grade students showed a 97.7 passing rate in mathematics, while the junior class had a 97.4 passing rate in mathematics and reading.
The results come right after the district received another piece of good moves when preliminary results for the Ohio Graduation test (OGT) scores were released last month. Preliminary scores for the class of 2013 showed students met all indicators with double digit improvements in all categories.
The Ohio Graduation Test (OGT) is the high school graduation examination given to sophomores in Ohio. Students must pass all five sections (reading, writing, mathematics, science and social studies) in order to graduate. Students have multiple chances to pass these sections and can still graduate without passing each using the alternative pathway.
In 2009, the Ohio legislature passed an education reform bill eliminating the OGT in favor of a new assessment system. The development and transition to this new assessment system will take several years.
Official results for the OGT scores will be released later this month while the official OAA scores will likely be released in August.
“It shows our district is making the improvements needed to achieve the results,” Kerekes said. “We were in need of some good news for the district and we got it.”
In other business, the district chose to increase the employee portion paid for medical benefits for administrative personnel after discussing the matter in executive session.
While all certified and non-certified personnel had been moved to paying a 10 percent share for health benefits, the treasurer, superintendent and two principal positions had still been paying only 5 percent of the costs. The move was made as both a cost-cutting measure and leveling out all employees to the same rate. Brookhart estimated the move will save the district about $3,000.
“It is a minimal savings but it gets everyone on a level playing field,” Brookhart said.