Westlake City Schools Rate Excellent Once Again

District's performance index is highest ever and ranks in the top 95 percent statewide.

Students are heading back to class in excellent classrooms today. The Ohio Department of Education released its annual State Report Cards Wednesday morning, giving the city school district a rating of Excellent for the 13th consecutive year. Excellent is the second highest of six possible grades.

In the vast majority of grades and subjects, Westlake students have made a percentage or two of improvement in the last year. The graduation rate has stayed at a steady 98 percent for the last three years.

Last year, the school district met all standards in areas like math, science and writing, with a performance index of 106.2 percent. This year, the district met all 26 standards and went even beyond that to earn a performance index score of 107.2 percent—  the highest the district has ever earned. The score is the weighted average of all students tested in grades three through eight, along with students taking the 10th grade Ohio Graduation Test.

“This gives us a chance to celebrate what the kids have done well, and also to set our goals,” said Superintendent Dan Keenan. “We take this information and look at where we can improve. We’re always looking to exceed or grow.”

That number also places Westlake in the top 95 percent of all districts in the state.

"We're proud of that," Keenan said, noting that the neighboring Rocky River district also ranked extremely high at 110.9 percent."We're in a good region."

The report card also shows that out of all Westlake students taking the Ohio Graduation Test, 97.8 percent are proficient in the reading portion, 93.4 percent in math, 98.4 percent in writing, 93.1 in social studies and 91.9 percent in science.

Nearby Avon Lake, Lakewood, Fairview Park and Bay Village were all rated Excellent. Avon, North Ridgeville and Rocky River earned Excellent with Distinction. Lorain went from Academic Watch to Continuous Improvement status.

Check out the box below to see how kids across the district are measuring up to the state standards.

Grade Subject Percentage of students at or above proficient 2010-2011
3 Reading 95.5%
3 Math 95.2% 5 Reading 89% 5 Math 77.7% 8 Reading 94.9% 8 Math 90.3% 8 Science 90.9% 11 Reading 97.1% 11 Math 97.4% 11 Writing 97.8% 11 Social Studies 96.5% 11 Science 95.5%
Tom Horwitz August 25, 2011 at 06:24 PM
"I agree. What are they doing that we aren't? And how close are we?" asks Chris. I suspect that they don't have members of their Boards of Education whose goals are to interfere with and obfuscate the actions of their superintendents and other Board member to maintain and improve the learning environment in their public schools. I suspect they don't have Board members who view the Board as a legislative body, instead of what it really is - a board of trustees for a non-profit organization - a board that owes a fiduciary duty to that organization and not to particular bloc of voters. I suspect that they don't have Board members who are more upset about a perceived attempt to violate their constitutional right to free speech than they are about the education of the district's public schools. But then again, the "excellence with distinction" mark may be just the result of a few quirks in the state's grading system and it might not mean too much when applied to school districts that are comparable to Westlake (i.e., Rocky River, Avon).
Russell August 25, 2011 at 07:51 PM
Please make sure everyone you are careful about what you read and how quickly you make assumptions. These report cards seldom spell things out directly because so many districts want items added that reflect their own specific plight. In some ways it has more merit to have all of these various ratings, but unfortunately people only read one part of things and then spew out uninformed comments. If you look at the Plain Dealer and read the Performance Index you will see that only one of those districts you named are higher than Westlake. We all want our district to be the very best in every category and satisfaction should not occur until that happens. However, probably the most fitting perspective is that Westlake did very well and now it has information to use get even better. The Report Card is very helpful, but to make these extreme statements either way is an inappropriate use of the information. Unfortunately the extremists on all ends of the continuum continue to try to rule the day these days…I hope that trend doesn’t continue and common sense comes back in to play.
Audrey August 26, 2011 at 11:25 AM
It appears that folks get very defensive whenever a comment is made that is perceived as criticism of their school district. Isn't this the root of the problem? There are no "extreme" statements here, just an observation based upon a published report which the district is very proud of. Had the PD article not been published, I suspect nobody would know the relative standings of our neighbor districts.
Robert Bodi September 10, 2011 at 06:18 PM
There is much room for improvement. The math scores are terrible for some grades, as are the science scores (that's where the jobs are today). There is no excuse for the poor fifth grade performance. Finally, the graduation rate will drastically drop next year when the new standard goes into effect. Why?? We need an answer as to why the current graduation numbers are not accurate. We need a board with a plan to address these issues.
Robert Bodi September 10, 2011 at 06:19 PM
And some of those better ranked schools spend less per student. Money is not the answer.


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