August 1, 2014

Elyria
Clear
68°F
test

Vocational schools receive state rankings

OBERLIN — For the first time, Lorain County technical schools received state report cards as part of a new state accountability system.

The new system, using A through F letter grades, was developed by representatives from the Ohio Board of Regents, the Office of Workforce Transformation, the Ohio Association of Career-Technical Superintendents, the Ohio Association of City Career-Technical Schools, the Ohio ACTE and the Ohio Department of Education, according to a news release from the education department.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Richard Ross said the idea was to hold technical centers accountable, like other school districts have been, through the Ohio State Report Card system.

“Holding career and technical centers accountable and ensuring they are providing a quality education is vital to the success of those schools and the success of the students that graduate from these schools,” he said via news release.

The system, albeit slightly confusing, gives technical schools a better idea of where improvements can be made, Lorain County Joint Vocational School Superintendent Glenn Faircloth said.

Lorain County JVS performed well on its first report card, receiving an “A” in graduation, with 97 percent of students graduating within four years and 98.9 percent graduating within five years; and a “B” in post-program options, with 87.3 percent of students employed in an apprenticeship, the military or enrolled in a postsecondary school or advanced training in the six months after leaving school.

The JVS met expectations in all of the categories, including academic attainment — reading, technical skill attainment, single year graduation rate, nontraditional participation, academic attainment — math, secondary school completion, placement and nontraditional completion.

“On average, we had As and Bs, so we did pretty well. Actually, we did very well,” Faircloth said.

Faircloth said there are still improvements to be made, however, and he is working to expand exit surveys given to former students and to increase dual enrollment with a partnership with Lorain County Community College.

Faircloth said he hopes the ratings system is easier to understand for parents and students in the future, but he said the review gave him a better idea of what areas need improvement.

“It is helpful, I think, because we do our own data, but sometimes that data can be skewed … Right now, the state can say, ‘You did this, and you didn’t do this,’” he said.

Also receiving a report card was the Lorain City Career-Technical Planning District, which didn’t perform as well as Lorain County JVS.

Nearly all of the area districts’ students interested in technical training attend the JVS, with the exception of Lorain, which operates it own program.

The district received a D letter grade for students graduating in four years, a C for students graduating in five years and an F in post-program placement.

The district met most expectations in the eight measures assessed, but it did not meet expectations in technical skill attainment or placement.

Some Vermilion school district students attend the EHOVE Joint Vocational School, which also had high grades in graduation and post-program placement.

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com.