Every year the state of Ohio rates its 600-plus school districts by more than two dozen criteria, from graduation rates to how students perform on standardized tests in reading, math and other subject areas.
Ratings for the school year that just ended won't be out until August, but you can get a good idea how things stand by looking at data for 2010-2011.
The ratings are not without controversy, of course. Some argue that they force a "teaching-to-the-test" approach that undermines real learning. And districts with already high-achieving students say it's tough for them to meet requirements that they demonstrate year-over-year improvements.
But faulty or no, the annual report card remains one of the few ways to make meaningful comparisons between districts. So when the 2011-12 report cards are issued in August, we'll offer the latest data in a similar format.