Ohio High School Academic Results

Gerber Analytics' Top Academic Ohio High School Report for 2019 Now Available

Once upon a time there was a very insightful education report that provided a different type of view of the top academic high schools in Ohio. It not only ranked the top schools in real numbers (i.e. not quartiles), but it also ranked how all of the schools performed on each subject matter test. It even included the public and private schools in the same report.

Top Schools Report
Top Academic Report - Click to report

That report is back.

Unlike the Gerber Analytics' reports published from 2007-2014, which used the Ohio Graduation Test (OGT), this report provides information from the ACT and SAT tests. The OGT provided a great, apples-to-apples comparison while this report had to make several accommodations to allow the ACT and SAT schools to be compared. Read the Top Academic Ohio High School report for more information.

It is probably no surprise but the top ACT / SAT schools are essentially the same as those that did well with the Ohio Graduation Test.

OhioTennisZone.com (OTZ) is the primary site provided by Gerber Analytics, LLC. For questions, please submit an OTZ Feedback.

ACT Performance Data Now Available

It has been a few years since this web site has been updated. When the Ohio Graduation Tests (OGT) were eliminated, that left parents and education enthusiasts without a good, apples-to-apples comparison for all public and private high schools. There is now data again that can be used to evaluate schools.

Ursuline Academy
Ursuline Academy - Click to report

The Ohio Graduation Test was replaced by the ACT and SAT, with the ACT making up approximately 80% of the schools. After searching for a source for this data, the Ohio Department of Education provided access to the ACT data and it is now included on this web site. While the 80% includes a large number of Ohio's public and Catholic high schools, there are many private schools and higher-end public schools that take the SAT.

Similar to the OGT data, the ACT results are the mean results from students who have taken the test during the same school year. For the OGT it was taken at the end of the students' sophomore year. The ACT is taken mid-year for juniors. It is especially important to emphasize that while many students take/re-take the ACT multiple times, these tests were administered during the same time period for those in the junior class.

More analysis capabilities will eventually be added to this web site but the current reports easily and quickly allow those interested to compare subject data within the same school and to easily compare the results of two schools.

St. Charles Preparatory
St. Charles Preparatory - Click to report

Not surprisingly, the top OGT schools are at the top for the ACT rankings as well. For the 2019 tests, Ursuline Academy (Cincinnati) led the way with the highest composite mean score. They were followed by St. Charles Preparatory (Columbus). Other schools in the top five include: St. Xavier (Cincinnati), Ottawa Hills (Toledo), and Wyoming (Cincinnati).

While there are other good sources to evaluate schools using a number of sources (i.e. ODE Report Cards), this web site provides a "performance only" approach.

As parents select a school for their children, it is recommended that parents look beyond the numbers by using a variety of lenses to view the school to identify the school that is best for their student. As our family evaluated high schools, we attended basketball games and tennis matches to watch the kids and their parents. We also talked with numerous graduates of the school and their parents to see how well the students were prepared for college.

OhioTennisZone.com (OTZ) is the primary site maintained by Gerber Analytics, LLC. For questions, please submit an OTZ Feedback.

Vouchers and Private School Performance

There is suddenly more interest in private school academic data as organizations try to determine how private schools, which now are receiving voucher students, compare with those public schools that lost those students.

This interest was highlighted in two Columbus Dispatch articles written by Shannon Gilchrist and Bill Bush. Click to read below.

How good are private schools that take Ohio voucher students? Hard to know (Shannon Gilchrist)

Education Insider: State education board member wants to ease access to Ohio voucher data (Bill Bush)

For those new to this web site, this private data has been available since 2009 and it contains data going back to 2007. In addition to the individual reports for each private (and public) high school, readers may also find the Top Academic Ohio High School Report - 2014 to be of interest. Analysis of the Major Metro School Districts - 2014 is another popular read. Unfortunately, the information includes data from the 2013-14 school year because 2014-15 data has not yet been obtained. Note that the 2013-14 data was also the same year used in the Northwestern University voucher analysis.

Usage of this web site has remained steady, typically peaking after major news articles have been published. To-date, the Cincinnati Enquirer is the only major Ohio newspaper that has widely publicized it. They published three articles about GerberAnalytics.com in 2009, 2010, and 2011. These articles are available via the paid archival service, ProQuest Archiver. The images to the right are from the November 2009 article written by Denise Smith Amos.





Comparing the Major Metro School Districts

This is the fourth year of comparing the academic performance of the major metro school districts. Cincinnati has led the pack each year thanks to its high performing schools at the top of the list. While it has been befuddling why the Cleveland, Columbus, and Toledo school districts have not adopted the same strategy as Cincinnati, it is at least somewhat en-heartening to see Cleveland and Toledo offer the high-performing John Hay Early College and Toledo Early College schools, respectively.

OGT Major MetroThis report provides a clear picture of school performance for readers who understand bar charts and tabular data. It also enables readers to drill down to identify the strengths and weaknesses in each school.

To better understand each school's individual report, please refer to this video.

For questions and comments, please submit a Feedback.

Ohio Appalachian Collaborative Results for March 2014 OGT

This is the second year for an in-depth academic comparison of the high schools within the Ohio Appalachian Collaborative. The 21 schools that make up the Collaborative are in the southwestern, southeastern, and eastern regions of Ohio. Click to go to the Ohio Appalachian Collaborative website.

Warren High School

Note that this report contains a large number of links to the individual schools. As readers review these links, note the following Gerber Analytics' observations:

Warren High School - Rarely does a school perform substantially better in Science (ranked 288th in the state) than in Math (ranked 451). Warren's progress in Science over the last two years is very commendable.

Waterford High School - It has shown notable improvement, especially in Reading and Math.  Waterford was ranked 627 in Reading in 2013 and 690 in 2012. It is now ranked 236.  Their state-wide rank in Math is now 352 That's up from 514 in 2013 and 500 in 2012. The big question mark for Waterford is why does its Social Studies performance lag behind Reading? Students who can read can normally perform well in Social Studies. It is also important to point out that Waterford does not have a large enrollment so that can lead to significant year-to-year variances.

Meadowbrook High School - While Meadowbrook is not a strong performer, it is showing signs of improvement.  It has especially strong gains in Social Studies, which is substantial better than its Reading.

For questions and comments, please submit a Feedback.

School Report Video

The school reports are full of information, but it is not clear to many users how best to read them.

There is now a short, nine minute video that explains the report in detail as I use my alma mater, Miami Trace, as an example. Viewers will get to see how Miami Trace compares to our archrivals, Washington Court House. As a bonus, there are 27.3% more attempts at humor than what you would expect to hear in an educational video.

If you have any questions, please submit a Feedback.

Gerber Analytics - Academic Champions for 2014

The seven academic champions for this year are: Columbus Academy, Columbus School for Girls, Hathaway Brown, Seven Hills, St. Charles Preparatory, Ursuline Academy, and Walnut Hills.

Champion Academic SchoolsSt. Charles Preparatory led the way with the highest Ohio Graduation Test Performance Index Score, followed by Walnut Hills and Ursuline Academy.

Click to read the 2014 Top Academic Ohio High School Report.

There were 1,008 Ohio high schools included in the analysis this year.

2014 Ohio Graduation Test Results

The data is now available for 2014. Note that there are additional graph features that will be added to the Top Schools document very soon. Questions or comments? Enter a Feedback.

3rd Grade Reading Guarantee - Update

There was a focused effort to help the state's third graders pass reading as part of the the "3rd Grade Reading Guarantee". Early results show that considerable head-way was made.

In Columbus, community efforts included: reading groups within the Columbus Metropolitan Library; doing plays that required reading at the Columbus' Clinton Elementary School; and going door-to-door to provide kids with books who had not yet passed the test.

Columbus City Schools will provide an alternative reading test on August 2. The Columbus Metropolitan Library continues to offer assistance with their Reading Buddies program.

The most recent spreadsheet provided by the state (on 6/13/2014) shows the major metro passing rates as follows: Cincinnati - 81.8%; Cleveland - 63%; Columbus City School - 69.2%; Dayton - 65.2%; and Toledo - 76.4%. These numbers do not include the results from the most recent tests nor the results of the alternative tests. Click to view the state's information on the Third Grade Reading Guarantee.

Newspaper Article
Nolan Rosenkrans
Toledo Blade
Patrick O'Donnell
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Jessica Brown
Cincinnati Enquirer
Bill Bush
Columbus Dispatch
Bill Bush
Columbus Dispatch
To read a variety of articles about the 3rd Grade Reading Guarantee, click on the links in the adjacent table.


3rd Grade Reading Guarantee

There was a terrific panel discussion presented by the Columbus Metropolitan Club (CMC) that discussed efforts underway in the Columbus area to assist children who are at risk of not passing the third grade reading test. Mark Real of KidsOhio.org, Alison Circle of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, and Sandee Donald of the Columbus City Schools were on the panel. It was held on Wednesday, April 9, at the Columbus Athletic Club.

For those accustomed to hearing Columbus City Schools' "education speak" where a common quote could be,

"We endeavor to empower the less-empowered with a world class curriculum of excellence to enable them to succeed in the future.",

this session was anything but that. Instead of hearing "happy talk" or "ear candy" comments where there are no specific tasks, nor deadlines, nor anything measurable, this was about innovative approaches to help kids learn to read now.

The city-area schools are teaming up with the national award winning, Columbus Metropolitan Library, to help these students pass this important hurdle. Some of the innovative approaches discussed included:

When this legislation was first proposed, I thought it offered great promise despite the angst and dread by many in education circles. My thinking was that even though there are not many negative stigmas anymore (i.e. teenage pregnancies, reliance on long-term government assistance), it might still be a big deal to be held back a grade. As of now, this appears to be a huge motivating factor for parents and children. If this does work, why did it take legislation to get us to this point?

Just to put a big exclamation point on the luncheon, I sat beside an architect who told me that a major factor that is used to determine how many future prisons are needed is to look at the number of children who cannot read by the third grade. There is no "happy talk" in that statement.

I like what I have heard thus far. Now, let's see how effective these programs are.


Please consider attending future CMC luncheons. They are very insightful. I have attended the following luncheons: David Yost's discussion about the Columbus City Schools' Data Rigging Scandal; Jeff Wilkens' discussion on the forming of CompuServe (where I worked for 17 years); the debate over the Columbus City School Levy; and a discussion about the Straight A Innovation Grants. Click on Columbus Metropolitan Club for more information.


Top Academic Basketball Schools

As was done during the fall for those schools in the football playoffs, a report that provides the academic information on Ohio high schools in the basketball semi-finals is now available.

St. Edward Academic PerformanceThe top five academic schools on the list of 32 semi-finalists are: Upper Arlington, Bishop Watterson, St. Vincent-St. Mary, Dublin Coffman, and Toledo Notre Dame Academy.

The purpose of this report is to provide those who are extremely interested in sports statistics with detailed academic stats. Sports fans love to drill down into infinitesimal detail to evaluate teams. This report encourages them to do the same with academic results. It was distributed in two of Ohio's most popular sports forums -- JJHuddle.com and Yappi.com.

With the ongoing Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) discussion on competitive balance, it was also created to help fans understand why parents, who really care about academics, may not want their sons to attend their designated school.

More information is shared in this report than in previous reports. Note detailed performance and attendance bar charts are available for all of the schools in this report by clicking on bar charts.

Click to read the football playoff schools academic report.


Academic Map View of Ohio Schools

This web site specializes in bar charts, but many appreciate viewing the data other ways. Below is an academic map view of Ohio schools.

Click on an image to see a Google map of that area.

Click on a map segment to proceed to the map. Clicking on a browser's back button will return readers to this page.

The icons are color-coded based on academic performance. Click on an icon to view the school name, address, and Performance Index Score.

The preference would have been to show all schools on the same map, but that is an expensive option for this software package.


Substantial Usage Increase for Web Site

Web site activity peaks and wains as schools discover this site and share it with others. Occasionally, newspapers also write about it. The most recent example of this was from northeast Ohio with The News-Herald. That article by Jean Bonchak is here.

Over the weekend though, something unusual happened and it centered around Facebook. The web site exceeded its all time high for OGT usage on a Sunday when a link of the Top Academic Ohio High Schools document was included in a Facebook entry.

The site was accessed from colleges from throughout the United States. They included: Boston College, Boston University, Cornell, Dartmouth, Davidson, Duke, Eastern Michigan, Guilford, Hanover, Harvard, High Point, John Carroll, Marquette, Miami University, Ohio Northern, Ohio State, Ohio University, UCLA, and University of Cincinnati, University of Dayton, University of Michigan, University of Notre Dame, University of South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Wittenberg, and Wright State.

Web Site Usage, November 16-19, as Shown by Google Analytics

I am very curious how this web site was used at these colleges. If anyone can shed light on this, please send me a Feedback message. I suspect that it was accessed by admission offices, but any information would be welcome.

On the map to the right, the states marked in blue indicate web site usage. Ohio had the largest number of accesses by far and that is why it is shown in dark blue. Indiana and California were second and third, respectively. There was also usage in eight foreign countries.


Competitive Balance Discussion and Academics

There are many different reasons why parents choose to send their children to a particular school, but during this time of year, some tend to believe that the top three reasons are "1) football, 2) football, and 3) football". ("Football" would be the fourth reason, too.) Again, there are multiple reasons, but a school's "academics" are typically an extremely important reason for those parents who do not believe their son will be drafted in the early rounds of the NFL.

Generally, the academic reputations of schools are anecdotally known within a two or three county area, but not on a statewide basis. This is especially the case for private schools where academic data is lacking. To resolve this, Gerber Analytics released a new report last week that provides detailed academic data for all schools (public and private) in the football playoffs.

The report is here and it is also available under the "Education Analysis" navigation drop-down above. Please note that it is currently sorted by Division and Region but it can also be sorted by School Name, County, Performance Index Score, or by the Percentage of Students Who Pass All Five Subject Tests.

Also included are five maps that include all of the high schools in the state so it is easier to compare the academic performance within an area. [Please note that it would have been preferred to include all schools within one map, but that service is too expensive (>$1,000/year) for this volunteer effort.]

Feel free to submit a Feedback if you have any questions or comments.


Top Academic Ohio High Schools Report Released for 2013

The report was released initially to the principals of these schools and later to the superintendents. The seven schools named as 2013 champions are: Columbus School For Girls, St Charles Preparatory, Madeira, Walnut Hills, Ursuline Academy, Seven Hills, and Indian Hill. They are listed in Performance Index Score order.

These seven schools were identified as the best Ohio high schools based on their 10th graders' performance on the 2013 Ohio Graduation Test.

St. Charles Preparatory, Ursuline Academcy, and Seven Hills have been listed as champions ever since this analysis was started in 2007.

Madeira and Indian Hill are both new to the championship list this year, but they have been highly ranked schools in previous years.


Major Metro High School Comparison Report

High schools in Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus are compared again this year. Click for the report.

To quickly visualize the schools on a map, click here. Note that each map link includes the school's Performance Index Score and a link to the school's individual Gerber Analytics report. Use the zoom control on the upper left side of the map to zoom in or out.

Education enthusiasts, especially those living in the Columbus area, will want to first read this comparison, and then read the document created by the Columbus Education Commission. That document is called ReimagineColumbusEducation and it is available here in a pdf. Note that there is no mention of Cincinnati's Walnut Hills in the Columbus Education Commission document.

For those reading both documents, I would appreciate hearing your Feedback.


March 2013 Information Now Available in Reports

Preliminary reports are now available that contain data from the 2012-2013 school year. Please contact me immediately via Feedback if you encounter any issues.

Please note that any school links below will now "point" to the reports that include the 2013 data.


Why Use the OGT Results to Compare Schools?

This is a very common question by those who use this web site. The answer is simple. The Ohio Graduation Test provides the best apples-to-apples comparison to evaluate all (public and private) high schools. Not only do all students in all schools have to take the test, but they must also take it at the same time. The test is given at the end of the students' sophomore year.

Would it be better to use the ACT or SAT in the analysis? No. Students take these tests at various times and and some take these tests more than once during their high school careers. It is also not a requirement that all students take these tests -- and that is good -- because it would not benefit anyone to have non-college-prep students earn scores of ten on an ACT test. Some students also take ACT preparation classes that are above and beyond what they learn in a high school classroom. This further diminishes a good apples-to-apples comparison.

Isn't the OGT too easy? It certainly is for many students, but no school has had all of its students receive perfect scores. Great schools will have a 90%+ passing rate on all five tests. This shows that the great majority of students are engaged with education. It is hard to believe in this day and age, but at some schools, the smartest kids are not respected. Obviously, parents who are users of this web site do not want that type of environment for their children.

How can you judge a high school after students have taken only two years of classes? It is safe to say that none of the top performing high schools tell their students to take their junior and senior years off if they do well on the OGT. In fact, the junior years tend to be the most rigorous in most high performing schools.

The OGT is a great barometer for the entire school district. Who would have thought that after the OGT was introduced eight years ago, that there would not have been more significant improvements by now? Many of the school systems are treading water even though they had significant room for improvement. The OGT also provides parents with better insight of how well schools adjust or do not adjust. The best schools immediately made changes to their Social Studies curriculum so those scores equaled or exceeded Reading scores. Weaker schools did not make (or have not made) curriculum changes promptly.

There are no "do overs" for high school. Use the tools on this web site and others to make the best high school education investment for your child.

SUNDAY, JULY 14, 2013

Columbus City Schools Data Probe Focuses on Six Schools

The Columbus Dispatch went into more detail in an article today on the six Columbus City high schools that have shown the greatest propensity to delete absences and change end-of-year grades. When comparing Ohio Graduation Test Performance Index Scores from 2008 with 2012, none of these schools showed academic improvementLinden-McKinley Pass Five %. Links to each school's Ohio Graduation Test results are listed below.

As you review the graphs, please pay special attention to two pieces of information: note the graphs of the Percentage of Students Who Passed All Five Tests and compare the relationship of Social Studies to Reading. I have found that when Social Studies performance lags behind Reading that is typically a sign of ineffectiveness. Note the Passed All Five graph for Linden-McKinley is above.

Even though Columbus City Schools is a weak district with substantial room for improvement, only four of its nineteen high schools in my analysis showed improvement on the Ohio Graduation Test over the last five years. When considering the enormous attention and dollars spent on education, it is almost inconceivable that after five years, Columbus is not seeing tangible improvements. The four schools that showed improvement are:

Also note the above graphs for these improving schools.


Town Hall Ohio Interview of Dr. Jim Mahoney of Battelle for Kids

Town Hall Ohio's Joe Cornely interviewed Dr. Jim Mahoney who is the Executive Director of Battelle for Kids on July 7th. Education enthusiasts will find this to be a very informative discussion on education.

I was on my way to get coffee and a bagel when I first started listening to this early on Sunday morning on 610 WTVN. I did not leave my car until 30 minutes after I arrived at Einstein's because I wanted to finish listening to the interview. You may also listen to the interview via this link.

The topics discussed include: evaluation of teachers, teacher compensation, performance metrics, and leadership skills..

Dr. Mahoney was a superintendent, principal, teacher, and professor for 35 years prior to starting his current job with Battelle for Kids in 2001.

Though not mentioned in the interview, Battelle recognizes several high schools with their "SOAR Awards for High Progress" each year. The 2012 award recipients were:

Clicking on the above links will take readers to the Gerber Analytics' Ohio Graduation Test results for these high schools.

I recently read a very good book that deals with compensation and motivational-related issues. It is called, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, by Daniel Pink. It is available via this Amazon link, and it can also be rented via the Columbus Metropolitan Library system.


Columbus Dispatch Video Summarizes the Data Scrubbing in Columbus City Schools

This video does an excellent job of summarizing the data scandal within the Columbus City Schools. The video was actually created in December 2012 and it features the two Dispatch reporters, Bill Bush and Jennifer Smith Richards, who have spearheaded this investigation. It also includes footage of David Yost, Ohio Auditor of State; ex-Superintendent of Columbus City Schools' Gene Harris; Keith Finn, a retired data analyst for Columbus City Schools; Buzz Trafford, an attorney for Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur who is representing the Columbus City Schools; and Jonathan Beard, a father of a high school sophomore who was negatively affected by the data scrubbing.

If you have followed this saga, you know that the data problems have grown since this video was completed. To read all of the Dispatch articles on this scandal, click here to go to the Dispatch website.




FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

Top Academic Ohio High Schools Report Released

The report was released late last night to the principals whose schools are included in the report. The seven schools named as 2012 champions are: St Charles Preparatory, Seven Hills, Columbus School For Girls, Hathaway Brown, Ursuline Academy, Walnut Hills, and Maumee Valley Country Day.

These seven schools were identified as the best Ohio high schools based on their 10th graders' performance on the 2012 Ohio Graduation Test.

The genders of the schools vary. Seven Hills, Walnut Hills, and Maumee Valley Country Day are coed. St. Charles is an all-boys school, and Columbus School for Girls, Hathaway Brown, and Ursuline Academy are all-girls schools.

Walnut Hills is a Cincinnati Public School, and it remains the model for how large metro school districts can provide an extremely high-performing school for its residents. As the Columbus City School district implodes with its growing data scandal, hopefully it will look closely at how Walnut Hills has excelled. Columbus is the only large metro school district without a school included in this report.

The plan was to release this report in November 2012 and use the publicity associated with it to promote the tool that Gerber Analytics created to assist students pass the Mathematics subject test. With the help of students from Olentangy Liberty, St. Charles Preparatory, and Columbus School for Girls to identify videos, this tool links Khan Academy videos with Ohio Graduation Test Mathematics questions. (See below here and here.)

FRIDAY, APRIL 26, 2013

Finally - the 2011-2012 Data

The individual school reports now contain the 2012 data for both public and private schools. The raw data became available on April 16, and after processing, the school reports with the new data were released on April 23.

New for this year is a league comparative view of each school's Ohio rankings for each subject test. This allows education enthusiasts to see the relative strengths of each high school. Also provided are the rankings for the previous year.

In the example provided, Ursuline Academy is ranked fourth overall in the state in its Performance Index Score, and it is ranked first in the Greater Girls Cincinnati League. Ursuline Academy's strengths are in Reading (3rd in the state) and Writing (2nd). Reading (1st) and Writing (1st) were also its strengths last year. Click to go to Ursuline Academy's results.

The creation of the top academic report is still in progress.

FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

High School Basketball and Academics

I closely follow high school basketball as well as high school education results. In addition to having great basketball teams, the four teams already in the OHSAA Basketball Finals have something else in common -- they are all great education schools.The four schools are Watterson versus Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary in Division II, and Ottawa-Glandorf versus Versailles in Division III, and their academic results are available via the above links.

It is fascinating how frequently the schools that excel in sports also excel in the classroom. What is even more fascinating is that the academic results for St. Vincent-St. Mary were accessed more than any other high school after the private school results were released last week. During a week when basketball had to have taken top billing, the St. Vincent-St. Mary community still had the interest to see how their school performed academically.

Congratulations to these teams on making the finals.

[Update: Watterson and Ottawa-Glandorf won their respective championships.]

Please note that the public school data for the 2011-12 school year is still not available for the public schools because of the data-rigging scandal.


Private School Results Available

The private school results for the 2011-12 school year are now available. Click on "Find School by Name" above to retrieve the school information.

With the release of this information, readers will note numerous changes with the school reports this year. The improvements include:

Performance Index Scores are used extensively in the reports. For those unfamiliar with that term, please refer to the Ohio Department of Education's (ODE) Report Cards.

As soon as the ODE provides access to the detailed 2011-12 data, the public school data will be added. After the public school data is included, all of the comparisons will be updated with the new information.


Khan Academy Videos and the OGT

The Ohio Graduation Tests are next week for many schools. To help students who are at risk of not passing the Mathematics portion of the test, some schools are utilizing a new tool that was created which links OGT Math questions to the highly regarded, Khan Academy videos.

Click here to access this tool.

This was a collaborative effort of high school student volunteers from St. Charles Preparatory, Olentangy Liberty, and Columbus School for Girls.

If, while using this tool, you identify other videos (Khan Academy or others), that better answers a concept, please forward this information via Feedback.

If you have any student success stories associated with this tool, please click to submit a Feedback.

There is no fee for this service.

On another topic, the Ohio Department of Education still does not have a date on when to expect their full compliment of data for the 2011-2012 tests. Until access is granted, the school reports cannot be created.


The Re-Waiting Re-Continues

The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) released their State and Local Report Cards as of February 27, but the ODE has not updated the detailed data in their databases. I am awaiting a reply from the ODE on when the Ohio Graduation Test information for the 2011-2012 school year will be available.


The Waiting Continues

The wait continues for the report card data for the public schools for the March 2012 tests. At some point (and it may already be past this point), more harm is being done by not releasing this data. Yes, it needs to be accurate, but it must also be timely. Delivering 100% accurate data months after it is needed, makes this data far less actionable. Is this data now 95% accurate? 80%? It is doubtful that anyone knows, but the fines and potential prison sentences imposed on school officials need to coincide with the accuracy level. This way, if the school has attempted to fool its community with inaccurate results, the community will have some solace that school officials will be punished accordingly.

The Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Auditor of State need to move forward and release the March 2012 test results.


Where is the Top Academic Ohio High Schools Report?

The Top Academic Ohio High Schools Report is typically released in mid-to-late November. The data scrubbing incidences in several school systems will almost certainly delay this as I await the data.

In the meantime, please review my latest project. With the help of several students, I have linked Khan Academy videos with almost every math question on the Ohio Graduation Test. The thought behind this project is to provide students (as well as their parents) with another resource to assist students with difficult math concepts. A student can take the test and check his answers. If he does not answer a question successfully or if he is a bit unsure of the concept, he can refer to the video(s). In some cases, the Khan web site provides additional questions related to specific videos to better hone the student's skills.

Please note that this is a collaborative effort and I hope to "fine-tune" these Khan Academy video / math question links by incorporating feedback from others.

Please click here to access the Ohio Graduation Test and Khan Academy videos.

I know of at least one school that plans to incorporate this project into their efforts to assist their students with passing the OGT Mathematics subject test. Please contact me via Feedback if your school is also interested.

TUESDAY, JUNE 19, 2012

Data-Rigging Scandal Begins

The Columbus Dispatch recently identified puzzling attendance figures within the Columbus City School District. The initial article is here. I was sufficiently fascinated about this issue to perform my own analysis. Rather than just look at the high schools within the Columbus City School District, I also included the other major school districts in the state. The entire report is here.

Attendance AnalysisThe scatter graphs in the report clearly show a strong positive correlation with attendance and academic performance for the Toledo and Cleveland metro high schools. Meanwhile, the scatter graphs for Columbus and Cincinnati should raise additional questions.

Why are not the scatter graphs for Columbus and Cincinnati more like the scatter graphs for Toledo and Cleveland?



There is No Wrath in This Khan

If you have read my analyses, then you know that I love what Khan Academy is doing. I first promoted this web site in 2010's The Top Academic Ohio High School document and it was featured in a CBS 60 Minutes report on March 11. To watch the 60 minutes report, just click on the above link.

The founder of the academy, Salman Khan, originally focused on mathematics but he now has over 3,000 video lessons on physics, biology, economics, astronomy, medicine, and history. His site teaches over 4 million pupils a month.

Khan is also creating a new school concept where students watch videos at home at night to understand the concepts. Then, they go to school to prove they understand the material by performing online modules. If a teacher sees that they do not understand the concept, the teacher provides them with help. There is less lecturing and more interaction, and the teachers are seen more as coaches or mentors.

[April 3 Update: This excellent article from Wired magazine (August 2011) provides additional details and insight about Khan Academy. Click here to read.

For a good example of a Khan Academy video, click here to better understand the relationship between the price of crude oil and gas prices. Khan also breaks down the various cost components of a gallon of gasoline. The video takes just a bit more than 12 minutes to view.]

Check this out and ask yourself why isn't every concept covered on the Ohio Graduation test (especially in Science and Mathematics) not linked to a Khan video lesson?

Beta site for videos.


Find Out About New Updates Via Email

The timing of the research is normally in the late fall and early winter timeframes. This is also when the site receives peak usage as newspaper articles are written (such as the one in the Cincinnati Enquirer). Rather than stopping by this web site to see if any new research has been produced, a new feature has been added to allow you to provide your name and email address. You will then be alerted to any new findings. Please also feel free to leave a few remarks on how you use the data. Please click here to continue.


Analysis of Large Metro School Districts Now Available

The Analysis of the Public School Districts in Ohio's Four Largest Cities - 2011 is Analysis of the Public School Districts in Ohio's Four Largest Cities - 2011now available. The report compares the large urban districts in Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, and Toledo. As with the Top Academic Ohio High School report, many of the schools in these cities showed nice improvement from 2010.

You will need to read the report to see which city performed the best, but it will not be a surprise.




The Cincinnati Enquirer Summarizes the Top Academic Schools Document

The schools in southwest Ohio received Cincinnati Enquireradditional recognition from the Cincinnati Enquirer today. The Cincinnati Enquirer provided a summary of the Top Academic Ohio High School document. If you get the Enquirer, it is below the fold on the first page of the Local section.

To read Jessica Brown's entire article, click on this link or on the image to the right. This is the third year that the Enquirer has provided a summary of the report.






2011 Academic Champions

Ohio High School Academic Champions - 2011

St Charles Preparatory
St Joseph Central
Hathaway Brown
Seven Hills
Ursuline Academy
Columbus School for Girls
Columbus Academy
Walnut Hills
The data for the schools is now live. Congratulations to my Ohio High School Academic Champions. They are listed in the table to the right.

The school names are linked to the school's web site, and the "G.A. Info" links take readers to more information on the Gerber Analytics web site.

To view the report that contains the entire list of 84 schools, please click here.





2011 Data Now Available

The 2011 data is now available. If you have any questions, please submit a Feedback message.


Processing Underway -- Results Better than Last Year

Processing of the 2011 data is underway. The results are better this year. Approximately 84 schools will make my list of Top Academic Ohio High Schools versus 63 in 2010 by achieving the 91% passing rate on all five subject tests.


Khan Academy Introduced

This excellent article from the Washington Post provides more information about the Khan Academy. The Khan Academy web site provides educational videos to supplement what students are learning in class. Perhaps there is already an effort underway, but why aren't the various Ohio Graduation Test topics linked to this site?

Every student now has access to the Internet, let's use all of the tools available to allow them to excel on the OGT.


Decline in Academic Performance Explained

Before the summer comes to a close, please consider reading, Saving Schools -- from Horace Mann to Virtual Learning, written by Paul E. Peterson. As you likely already know, I am not an education professional so I found this book to be extremely enlightening. It has finally helped me understand why public secondary education has been in the decline while education costs have risen dramatically.

Mr. Peterson has written a number of books about Ohio schools. The book above includes mention of the Shaker Heights school district.

The Columbus Metropolitan Library owns 16 copies of this book, or you may purchase it online via the Amazon link.


FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 2011

Pass All Five Tests % - Highlighted by The Columbus Dispatch

Congratulations to the central Ohio high schools on their performance on the most recent Ohio Graduation Test. It was reported in The Columbus Dispatch that 45 of the 49 central Ohio schools improved on their performance of getting a higher percentage of their students to pass all five portions of the test on their first try. For the entire article, please click here.

This "Pass All Five Tests" percentage is a statistic that I closely watch and the statistic for 2010 versus 2009 was weaker for most schools. I had hoped that last year's results were an anomaly and it is great to see a rebound.

For a school to be included on my Top Academic Ohio High Schools report, it must have a "Pass All Five" percentage of 91% or higher. Based on The Dispatch article, it appears that central Ohio's Bexley, New Albany, and Grandview Heights will be included in the report next year. Neither New Albany nor Grandview Heights have been included in my report in the past.


2010 Analysis of the Metro High Schools Released

The Analysis of the Public School Districts in Ohio's Four Largest Cities is now available. In this analysis, the academic performance of the Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Toledo districts are compared using the March 2010 data. This is the second year for this document.


Science is Difficult - Writing is Easy

The state requirement for schools is to have 75% of its students pass each subject test. Which subject is the hardest for schools to achieve 75% proficiency? It is Science. In which subject have the schools shown the most improvement? Social Studies. The easiest subject for the schools to obtain proficiency is Writing. The percentages below for the various subjects represent the percentage of schools that met the state requirement of 75% proficiency. The breakdowns are in the table below.


Social Studies
75.8% 82.0% 61.9% 74.2% 84.0%
75.6% 85.5% 58.0% 66.8% 87.7%
0.2% -3.5% 3.9% 7.4% -3.7%

As stated in my other documents, 2010 was a poor academic year, and hopefully it is not the start of a trend.

While any decreases are disturbing, it was my understanding that schools were doing a better job of identifying the students who were having problems with specific subject areas. The second table is a bit harder to understand but it represents the schools that had 75% proficiency rates on all five tests. In other words, if a school had 80% of its students pass Mathematics, Reading, Social Studies, and Writing, but only 70% of its students were proficient in Science, then it would not be included in this group.

>=75% on All Five Tests

I will be doing more analysis with Social Studies in the near future. It was my perception while crunching through the numbers over the past four years that the better schools quickly showed improvement with Social Studies as they fine-tuned their curriculum. I am still curious why Social Studies lags Reading. If a student can read, why can't the student do well in Social Studies?

Please note that I had posted this analysis briefly yesterday, but I thought it was confusing. I had also used the majority of the schools' students passing (>50%) as a threshold rather than 75%.

I have been extremely busy with development on my tennis site (which is going state-wide), but I have devoted more time to the OGT project during the past week. Look for more OGT analysis in the coming weeks.


Mother Tries to Help Children

One mother in Ohio's Akron area is in the news for illegally placing her children in the Copley-Fairlawn school district. Copley High School, which is in a northwest suburb of Akron, is a very good school. It is not clear to which school the children should attend (or their ages) but Akron Early College is an excellent charter high school in the area.

Click on the academic performance map to view the performance of the schools in that area.


Schools with Largest Performance Increases

Objectives of this web site are to recognize Ohio's top schools, the league champions, and the schools that are showing the most improvement. Today's entry is to highlight the schools with the greatest improvement in their Performance Index Scores.

The ten schools that had the most significant percentage increases in their Performance Index Scores (PIS) are in the table below. Please note that only slightly more than 20% of all Ohio schools had improvement in their tenth grade scores in 2010. The schools are sorted by their PIS percentage change.

The school names are linked to the Ohio Department of Education's Interactive Local Report Card reports. Gerber Analytics reports are also available for two of the schools -- Columbus South and Southern.

Congratulations to these schools.

Gerber Analytics Report?
Metro Area
# Test Takers
PIS 2010
PIS 2009
PIS % Change
Maritime Academy of Toledo
Life Skills Center - Youngstown
New Day Academy Boarding & Day School
Life Skills of Northeast Ohio
Premier Academy Of Ohio
Summit Academy Secondary- Akron
Focus Learning Academy of Southeastern Columbus
Life Skills Center - Summit County
South Franklin
Southern Meigs


Welcome to Cincinnati Readers

Welcome Cincinnati Enquirer readers. The Top Academic Ohio High School report mentioned in the Enquirer article is available here.

For those interested in education and high school tennis, please contact me via a Feedback message if you would like for your team to be included within the tennis portion of Gerber Analytics. The plan is to slowly roll out the tennis results state-wide. Click on the following links to obtain the tennis reports for the Upper Arlington boys and girls teams.


Explanation of the Sports League Academic Reports

While the Top Academic Ohio High School report is beneficial as a one-year snapshot, the sports league reports may be more insightful because they provide a three-year history of each school relative to the other schools in the league. Here are the links to Miami Trace of the South Central Ohio League (my alma mater) and Liberty Benton of the Blanchard Valley Conference (my parent's alma mater). From these reports, it is easier to see which schools in the leagues may have better approaches to teaching the various subjects.

Looking first at the South Central Ohio League (SCOL), Clinton Massie won the league this year and last with rather dominant performances. However, the most interesting school in the SCOL is Greenfield McClain. McClain had the worst results in the league with their "% of Students Who Passed All Five Tests" in 2008, but they have steadily improved over the last three years. In Social Studies, McClain has shown substantial improvement and they are now second in the league in Social Studies.

Liberty Benton beat last year's champion, Van Buren, to win the Blanchard Valley Conference in this tightly contested league. The interesting school in this league is Arcadia. Arcadia was fourth in the league with their Performance Index Score but first in the league with Mathematics. Their Mathematics performance was very strong (and improving) relative to their other subjects and in comparison to the other schools in the league.


NYT Article and Cincinnati's Interest in Education

The following article from the NYT will interest many reading this blog. It is titled, "Growing up digital, wired for distraction". It covers a few of the issues included in the Top Academic Ohio High School report

As stated in the past, Cincinnati is the area of the state that appears to be the most focused on high school education. The Google usage map to the right reflects the number of Gerber Analytics site visitors. It was not surprising to see from where most of the visits originated -- Cincinnati.

After just one full school day of activity since the Top Academic Ohio High School report was released, this site has been accessed by people in 22 different states. Links from Facebook appeared to be the biggest driver of visitors.


2010 Top Academic Schools Document Re-Released

Changes were made to the School Report pages over the long weekend. For those exceptional schools that are on the Top Academic Ohio High School report, it is now easier to see how frequently these schools appeared on the yearly list. For example, Seven Hills has been on the list all four years. These links point to a "list only" document -- not to the long version of the report.

The Top Academic Ohio High Schools document was modified over the weekend in an effort for this author to hopefully achieve a "basic" score in writing. For those who have already suffered through this document, none of the numbers changed.


2010 Top Academic Schools Document Released

The Top Academic Ohio High Schools for 2010 is now available.


Web Site Goals

The goal for the sports league academic reports is to encourage communities to look at academics differently. While the Ohio Graduation Test is just one piece of the puzzle on how to measure schools, communities should be aware of how their tenth graders performed on the various subject tests (mathematics, reading, science, social studies, and writing) versus the other teams in their league. Schools should also be aware of their strengths and weaknesses in academics just as much as they are aware of their basketball teams' foul shooting percentages.


Every school in Ohio can do better. It all starts with knowing where a school stands versus its peers, and what its goals should be for next year. Can you beat your rival school in Social Studies next year? Can you be first in the league in three years? Hopefully, these reports will provide readers with guidance on what their goals should be.

These reports have been custom-created to make it easy to quickly navigate throughout the document. For best results, follow the directions in "red".