Milford continues on path of academic excellence

In the past six years, Milford has seen an upward trend in academic achievement by our students, due to a concerted effort among staff and teachers to find better ways to reach students, as well as improved teamwork between the district and families.

This year, the state released a new report card to evaluate how districts are performing:  instead of “Excellent” and so on, districts are now giving letter grades on different areas. The new evaluation structure is much different – and much more rigorous – than the past system.  In this first year, not all areas are measured; the new report card will be phased in over the next two years.

At the September 19 board meeting, Dr. Jill Chin, Director of Elementary Curriculum, and Mrs. Nancy House, Director of Secondary Curriculum, presented the results of the state report card and also our own Quality Profile which looks at a variety of factors in the education process.

State Report Card:  Full presentation can be seen here.
The first measure of achievement are the Statewide Indicators, which is the percentage of students per grade (3-10) and test that scored at or above the proficient level (75%) on the test.  Our students met or exceeded the proficient level on each of the 64 tests given across the district.  We met all 24 of the Indicators, and received a grade of A on this measure – and while the level to meet is 75%, we had many scores in the 90%s, and even some 100%s this year!

The second measure is the Performance Index.  This measures the test results of every student in the district, and it is graded on a 0-120 scale.  This year, our Performance Index is 105.0, up from 100.5 in 2007-08 – a huge achievement, as it is extremely difficult to move this needle.

The grading scale for the Performance Index is a 10-point scale, with 90-100% equating to an A, 80-89.9% a B, and so on.  With an Index of 105 out of 120, Milford received a B at 87.5%.

The next measure is the Annual Measurable Objectives, or AMOs.  These compare the performance of all students to a state goal in reading, math and graduation.  It also looks at achievement gaps that exist between groups.  Groups Milford looks at are students with disabilities; economically disadvantaged; African-American; multiracial; English Language Learners; Hispanic; gifted; and White.  We received a B on the new report card because we met 81.7% of AMOs.

Value-added is the next measure – the average progress for students in math and reading, grades 4-8, evaluating if the student got a year’s growth in a year.  It also looks at sub-groups.  For this measure, a C means the student is right on track:  s/he grew a year’s worth in a year’s time.  Milford’s overall Value-Added score was an A, as was Students with Disabilities and the Lowest 20% Achievement.  However, our Gifted students scored a C, meaning they grew a year’s worth in a year’s time.  These students are some of the hardest to move on this scale, as they start at a higher level than other students.

Graduation rate is the next measure.  There are two graduation rates the state looks at now:  4- and 5-year.  The 4-year rate applies to the Class of 2012 who graduated within four years – students who entered 9th grade in 2008 and graduated by 2012.  The grading scale is a 7-point scale, with 93% being an A.  Milford received a 95.3% on this measure, which is an A.

The 5-year Graduation Rate applies to the Class of 2011:  students who entered 9th grade in 2007 and graduated by 2012.  These are students who for one reason or another were not able to graduate with their regular class, and took one extra year to graduate.  This is measured on a 5-point scale, meaning 95%+ is an A.  Milford had a 5-year Graduation Rate of 94.4% and thus a B on this measure.

Milford’s Quality Profile:  The full Quality Profile can be seen here.
Last year, Milford started something new.  Instead of just relying on the state report card to evaluate what we’re providing the community, we did a more in-depth examination of a variety of factors.  The article about how this started can be found here.

The idea behind the Quality Profile is that a successful school district places a high degree of importance on ensuring that all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential inside and outside the classroom.

This year, Milford teamed with 22 other Ohio school districts to develop a comprehensive yet standardized report.

Some of the highlights from the report include:

  • Scholarship dollars received by 2013 graduating seniors:  $10.5 million, up from $7.1 million in 2011
  • Milford’s average ACT score was 23.66 in 2013, vs. 21.8 for the state.
  • 69 sixth students participated in an advanced math group, allowing them to jump two years in math instruction
  • In 2013, Junior High students earned 679 high school credits
  • Milford High School offers 18 AP courses (schools in the area offer between 13 and 24 classes).  In 2013, 495 students took at least one AP course; a total of 846 AP courses were taken, and 609 of these received a 3+ on the test
  • Volunteers at the elementary schools donated over 16k hours and made financial contributions of over $141k.
  • At the junior high, volunteers gave over 800 hours; at the high school, the various booster organizations donated over 20k hours
  • And much, much more which can be viewed in the full report (link above)

3 thoughts on “Milford continues on path of academic excellence

  1. Pingback: Highlights from 9/19/13 school board meeting | Andrea Brady's Blog

  2. Has Milford increased the benchmarks in K-3? My first grader just got her fall 2013 report card indicating they are still targeting national minimum standards. These standards are 80% by AimsWeb, which means only 80% of the students are predicted to pass a standardized state test, while 20% are predicted to fail the state test. Aren’t these standards too low when we expect 20% to fail? We can easily increase these benchmarks for all grades as AimsWeb has formula’s and tools to do so. When will Milford increase the standards?

  3. Don, I’m going to paraphrase what Dr. Jill Chin, our Director of Elementary Curriculum, says about our benchmarks and goals.

    Yes, we have increased our benchmarks this year. AimsWeb is only one small component of how we determine interventions for our students. We also analyze MAP data, reading levels, writing rubrics, performance-based assessments, and more. The MAP assessment gives us individual scores for each student, including reading levels, and then an individual growth component. For EACH child, a growth target is set for the end of the year.

    In addition, you have a fundamental misconception of what the 80%/20% means. The percentage here has nothing to do with the number/percent of students who will pass or fail. 100% of our students may meet the benchmark; then that means that 100% of our students have an 80% or better chance of passing the state test. We are NOT predicting 20% of our students will fail based on these benchmarks.

    Milford students who have reached our benchmarks score very well on the third grade OAA test.

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