Monday, June 03, 2002

Lakota likes early results on state tests

Schools expect to be in top rank

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer contributor

        WEST CHESTER TOWNSHIP — When the Ohio Department of Education releases its 2003 report cards on school performance next January, Lakota Local Schools officials believe they will move into the state's top ranking — shared by fewer than 8 percent of Ohio's schools.

        Superintendent Kathleen Klink said the district would meet all 22 standards based on preliminary results from the 2001-02 proficiency tests, which will be released Friday. Proficiency tests taken this year in the fourth, sixth and ninth grades make up 20 of the 22 standards on the 2003 Report Card. The other two are attendance and graduation rates.

        “It's unofficial until the state goes back and says it's official, but I'm confident that's where we are,” Mrs. Klink said. “I'm so proud of the people of Lakota.”

        Meeting all of the standards has been a Lakota goal since the tests were first mandated, Mrs. Klink said. With a student body that has been growing by 300 to 500 students each year — making it the state's eighth-largest district — and a transient population, achieving all the standards is difficult, Mrs. Klink said.

        Lakota met 25 of the 27 standards on the 2002 Report Card, putting it in the effective category, the second-highest of five. Only 48 of the state's 612 school districts — including eight in Southwest Ohio — met all 27 standards. No tests were given in the 12th grade this year so the standards drop by five on the 2003 report card, said J.C. Benton, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Education.

        Southwest Ohio schools that had perfect 27 of 27 scores on the 2002 Report Card are: Indian Hill, Kings, Mason, Madeira, Mariemont, Milford, Sycamore and Wyoming.

        On the 2002 Report Card, Lakota did not meet the fourth-grade standards on the science or reading tests, based on tests taken in the 2000-01 school year. Only 72.8 percent passed the science section and 73.3 percent passed reading, said Jon Weidlich, Lakota's spokesman. The state requires a 75 percent passing rate.

        But preliminary results show that more than 80 percent of the fourth-graders passed those sections this year which will be reflected on the 2003 Report Card, said Janet Gorman, Lakota's director of elementary curriculum. Students met the 75 percent passage rate in all other proficiency tests as well as graduation and attendance standards, Mrs. Gorman said.

        “We have a cushion, which is wonderful. It's a tremendous tribute to the students and their hard work,” Mrs. Gorman said. “It's a reflection of our entire elementary program and a tribute to the teachers on the front line and the principals.”


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