The school year is upon us and I’m glad to see that students in the area are returning to the classroom to learn and grow.

The education of Ohio’s children is of the upmost importance and it is crucial that we monitor the progress of our schools to ensure that they are developing our students to their fullest potential. One way we can measure this is through district report cards. The Department of Education will release these in mid-September and I’m looking forward to learning about how schools in this region have performed over the last year.

These report cards will provide valuable information, offering a thorough picture of how schools performed during the 2015-2016 school year. What a great opportunity to see all that Ohio districts are accomplishing and where they need to improve.

When you are able to review your school’s report card, I think it is helpful to have some background information. There are six main components included in the report cards: Achievement (how well students performed on state tests); Progress (how students are improving based on past performance); Gap Closing (how well schools are educating the most vulnerable populations of students); Graduation Rate (the percent of students who finish high school with a diploma), K-3 Literacy (how successful the school is at helping students who are struggling to read); and Prepared for Success (how well students are prepared for the future). The state assigns an A-F grade to each of these components, providing a great tool for parents to gauge success.

It is important to remember that our students are growing up in a highly competitive global economy. They need to be better prepared than you or I were at their age. We must expect more of them than we have of ourselves. Ohio continues to raise our expectations for student achievement. Districts, schools and students may not yet reach those expectations, but we know that Ohioans have, and always will, rise to the occasion.

Hopefully this provides you with some more information on the process of Ohio’s school report card system. Another resource that is very helpful is visiting the Ohio Department of Education at

I know parents in Hamilton County are looking forward to reviewing the report card for their respective district and schools in mid-September.  Every student deserves the best opportunity to prepare, learn and grow, and I think these report cards give us all a beneficial snapshot of what schools and parents can do to help kids achieve their goals.

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