From the Superintendent



Tomorrow I will announce the first annual list of schools to be named by the Ohio Department of Education as Ohio Schools of Honor, based on 2011-2012 Local Report Cards.
The department established the High Performing Schools of Honor and High Progress Schools of Honor programs to recognize schools with at least 40 percent disadvantaged students that have maintained or increased reading, math or graduation achievement over five years. These schools are proud examples of what can happen when school leaders, teachers, parents and community members come together believing that all children can learn.
The High Performing Schools of Honor:

  • At least 90 percent of students were proficient in combined reading and math, and
  • If a high school, had at east a 90 percent graduation rate over a five-year period.

The High Progress Schools of Honor:

  • Scored in the top 10 percent of schools that showed combined gains in reading and math in all tested grades over five years.

You can find the criteria for these programs as well as Ohio’s Schools of Promise program in this fact sheet.
Teachers in this year’s 90 Schools of Honor uniformly believe that every child can learn despite the challenges presented by their backgrounds and experiences. And what these schools have done is working. 
I will be urging them to share their strategies with other Ohio schools; likewise I encourage you take the first step. If some of these schools are your neighbors, make sure you get together and figure out a way to equip all your schools to follow their lead. If your district has no Schools of Honor, pick one or two from the list that will be posted on our website later this week and get in touch with them. I hear far too often that schools and districts don’t know how they can possibly overcome their many challenges. Our honored schools are living examples that can help you understand that your challenges are not insurmountable.
These recognition programs are yet another signal that Ohio is raising its expectations for schools and identifying schools that can perform well despite the odds. I know that if we refuse to let those odds defeat us, Ohio’s list of Schools of Promise and Schools of Honor will grow every year. We need every school to grow in this way, because every child in every school in every district deserves the best education we can give them.
Thank you for the good work you will do this week on behalf of Ohio’s boys and girls.
Dr. Richard A. Ross