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Canfield ranks first in Mahoning County on performance index

September 26, 2018
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

The Ohio Department of Education released its performance index rankings earlier this month and in Mahoning County, Canfield School District was on top. Canfield posted a 104.3, up from 103 in 2017 and 100 two years ago.

"The performance index evaluates students at their performance ability," said Superintendent Alex Geordan. "We strive to get all of our students to do their best"

Overall, Canfield received a B on the rankings. That was the average of six different areas that are looked at to determine the overall ranking.

One area involved in the ranking is achievement. Canfield received a B in this category, but Geordan feels the numbers don't give a true reflection of any district.

"Canfield is ranked 36 in the state and of the top 30 districts, only six got an A in achievement," he said. "Does that say something about the state's assessment of achievement?"

Canfield also received a B in progress for success, which attempts to evaluate how the child advances through school.

Canfield excelled in two categories, getting an A in gap closing and in graduation rate. Geordan said Canfield has always done well with the graduation rate. As for gap closing, which grew from the No Child Left Behind program, Canfield did well too. This area involves students with issues such as economically disadvantaged or with a disability. Two years ago Canfield had a B in this category. Last year it was brought up to an A and has stayed for this year.

Canfield's tough categories on the rankings was improvement for K-3 at risk readers and preparing for success. The district received a C in both those categories. Geordan feels both are not for an even playing field. The prepare for success has several flaws.

One flaw is the state Department of Education looks at students as all going to college, or are college ready. It does not take into account those looking at trade schools.

Geordan said this is the first year the state was giving an overall grade. He feels comfortable with the B, but believes the rankings really do not reflect the true landscape of the district.

"Our graduating seniors last year were offered over $15 million in scholarships," he said. "For a graduating class of 260, that's a pretty good number."

He added that colleges are telling him Canfield graduates are ready to go when they enter college.

"I am very pleased when I talk to a graduate after they have been gone for a year or more," Geordan said. "I ask them if they were prepared for college, did we do a good job? I have not had one student say they were not ready. That is more important than a performance index."

He said the performance rankings are just one snapshot of a district, but there really is a lot more involved. While the state keeps changing the rules of the rankings, Canfield schools will stay on course for what works in making a student succeed.

Geordan said he recently has noticed a trend that is happening in the area. More and more kids are continuing their education at Youngstown State University with the intent of staying in the area.

"Its an interesting trend," he said. "Kids no longer have to move away to extend their family. They can stay local and still get a good job."



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