The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) is giving parents, educators and taxpayers a preview of a new approach for comparing academic performance among schools and districts.

Effective September 2012, House Bill 153 requires all school districts and school buildings to be ranked using the Performance Index (PI) score. Such rankings will provide parents and taxpayers a new way to evaluate how local schools are performing while allowing educators to compare their performance with peers.

The school district list will include all city, local and exempted village school districts as well as joint vocational school districts, community schools and STEM schools. The school building list will include all schools that are part of city, local or exempted village school district as well as community schools, joint vocational schools and STEM schools.

In Highland County, the ODE rankings include:

• No. 267 Lynchburg-Clay Schools. The district is rated "excellent" and spends $8,991 per pupil.

• No. 317 Fairfield Local Schools. The district is rated "effective" and spends $8,051 per pupil.

• No. 519 Bright Local Schools. The district is rated "effective" and spends $10,338 per pupil.

• No. 559 Hillsboro City School. The district is rated "effective" and spends $8,692 per pupil.

• No. 580 Greenfield Exempted Village Schools. The district is rated "effective" and spends $8,827 per pupil.

• In Adams County, the Adams County/Ohio Valley Schools were ranked 477. The district is rated "effective" and spends $10,261 per pupil.   

While the Interactive Local Report Card on the Ohio Department of Education's website permits users to assess current school district and school building data, the ODE was recently asked to create school district and school building ranking reports using 2010-2011 data results in anticipation of this new legislative requirement.

As anticipated by the law, two spreadsheets illustrate school district and school building rankings using the 2010-2011 performance index score, where applicable. In addition, for illustrative purposes only, Ohio Department of Education staff has also created like school ranking reports for community, elementary, middle and high schools separately.

These ranking reports are provided as information to allow for greater transparency in reporting data publicly available from the Ohio Department of Education.

Please note that additional factors beyond sorting by the performance index score will be added to official ranking reports released next fall pursuant to statute.

ODE is required to develop another measure of student academic performance beyond the performance index so that all school districts and school buildings can accurately be compared.

Rankings will be supplemented with data on the amount of money devoted to classroom instruction and opportunities provided to gifted students. ODE is currently working to develop criteria for including these measures in the rankings.