Thursday, May 29, 2003

Mason invests in tracking students

Program measures individual progress

By Erica Solvig
The Cincinnati Enquirer

MASON - This Warren County school district is joining a statewide effort to track student achievement.

The Mason school board approved Tuesday a contract with Battelle for Kids, a learning partnership created in 2001 to help carry out suggestions of the governor's Commission for Student Success.

The school district will pay $3.50 per student to be part of the program. "It's going to let us track the individual progress of a student over time," said Sonia Milrod, the district's assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction. "It's exactly what we want to do as a district."

More than 40 school districts statewide, including Madeira, Mount Healthy and Winton Woods, already are part of the program, said Suzanne Amos, Battelle for Kids spokeswoman.

The three-year pilot project just completed its first year. It is based on an analysis of student achievement data, such as test scores, to measure how much a student has grown academically over the years.

This differs from the district report cards the state issues each year, which looks at building achievement on an annual basis, according to Battelle for Kids.

"The way (the state is) looking at it now is one fourth-grade class to the next fourth-grade class," Amos said of Ohio's education accountability system.

"But it's a different cohort of students. One thing we feel very strongly about is, in order to move children forward, we need to actually look at individual student progress over time."


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