November 7, 2019
Dear Shaker Schools Friend,
I am writing to inform you of news that two of our elementary schools, Onaway and Woodbury, have been placed on the state’s EdChoice list by the Ohio Department of Education. They join Mercer, which was placed on the list last school year and remains there this year.
I am sure you share my belief that this news is unexpected, unfair and disturbing. We are proud of the academic gains made in all three of these buildings. Onaway, for example, is year-in and year-out among our highest-achieving schools. Both Onaway and Mercer received an overall grade of “B” on this year’s State Report Card. Just last week, a Cleveland State University study identified Onaway, as well as Boulevard, as among the top elementary schools in Northeast Ohio. Woodbury, too, has shown progress based on state assessment results.
It is especially concerning that some of the data the state uses to make the EdChoice determinations are five years old and are based on test scores for students who no longer attend these schools. In some cases, the determinations are made based on assessments that no longer exist in Ohio.
I believe that any family with a student in these schools knows better. They know that their children are receiving a well-rounded, high-quality education delivered by caring and talented faculty and staff. They know that their children leave these schools well-prepared for success in middle school, high school and beyond. Private school families in our community know this as well: each year, we have many families transferring into our District for the educational experience they want for their children.
Next week, I am planning to travel to Columbus to speak to the State Board of Education about the flaws in the EdChoice program and its impact on our District. I will also be partnering with other public school districts across the state to share our collective concerns about the EdChoice program. My visit, along with this collaborative discussion with my colleagues from other school districts, will be the first steps in an effort to persuade lawmakers to consider changes in the way the state evaluates our public schools. In the coming weeks, we will also be sharing ways community members can help advocate for change.
Thank you as always for your support.
Dr. David Glasner, Superintendent
Shaker Heights Schools