Graduation and Absenteeism Rates Announced

Limited State Report Card Released
Posted on 09/15/2020
Image of APS LogoGraduation rates gradually climbed in Akron Public Schools (APS) while absentee rates improved a bit, too, as noted in this year’s Ohio Department of Education annual school report card.

“This year’s report card is a different story, though, for all of Ohio schools,” said Chief Academic Officer for APS, Ellen McWilliams-Woods, Ph.D. “When all is said and done, it will be much more sparsely populated with information because we all had to cancel state testing last spring because of COVID.”

Missing, according to McWilliams-Woods, is going to be some areas of student achievement and what’s called Closing the Achievement Gap (or the amount of progress made over a one-school-year period.)

“This year,” she said, “we will not see a letter grade for any particular area of evaluation or one that covers APS overall as a district.”

Graduation Rates: Released this afternoon, the percentage of APS students graduating within four years moved higher (from 79.9% to 80.2%) for the class of 2019. They also rose for students in the class of 2018 (up from 79.9% to 83.8%) who took five years to graduate. (Reporting on graduation rates in Ohio lags one year behind.)

Absenteeism: One area that might have been difficult to accurately track last spring that will not be with remote learning this fall is how much school students missed.

“We have a new system of accountability in place,” said Superintendent David W. James, Ed.D. “Attendance is being formally taken this time around, so student activity will be tracked more accurately than before when we had to create our remote learning on the fly, due to COVID.”

Last school year, APS saw a drop of four points in the number of chronically absent students. Numbers show 18.8% of students in the district missed at least 10% of the school year. (Nearly all Ohio districts saw a drop because students were all marked present for the last two months of the school year.)

“We’re hoping for better attendance results with our partnership in Stay in the Game with the Cleveland Browns Foundation,” said Superintendent James. “The timing, because of COVID, has been challenging. But our families are excited about participating.” Stay in the Game

The Cleveland Browns are dedicated to improving the quality of education for students in Ohio by making investments that keep kids in school every day so they can succeed, highlighted by the "Get 2 School, Stay in the Game!" Network. The Get 2 School Network is a statewide initiative designed to promote the importance of school attendance and put an end to chronic absenteeism. The team engages schools across the state and promotes quality education by using attendance data and feedback from families to build a school-going culture, reduce common barriers to attendance and support engagement opportunities for students to thrive. To learn more, visit Get2School.org.

Statewide, only 256 of 608 school districts posted higher gains than Akron.
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