Lisbon superintendent: Easy to get lost in figures

LISBON – School Superintendent Don Thompson is not sure what to make of a report that says there is a link between a district’s test scores and wealth.

Speaking at this week’s board meeting, Thompson referred to a recent story about an analysis of the revamped state report card system performed by several professional organizations representing school administrators.

The most reported aspect of the study was the link between academic performance and poverty, with schools that score higher on the academic performance measurement generally being those with higher incomes and lower poverty levels, and vice versa.

Thompson noted the story noted Lisbon had the third highest-poverty level among students out of the 11 school districts in Columbiana County, behind only East Liverpool and Wellsville, but had the fifth highest average household income, which left him perplexed.

He said the same apparent statistical contradiction also applied to Lisbon’s ranking fifth in academic performance while having the third highest poverty rate.

“Talk about making something out of data. You can make whatever you want out of that data,” he said. “There’s so much more to education, and it’s easy to get lost in the figures.”

In other action at the meeting, elementary school Principal Dan Kemats reported the school had been selected by Walmart to participate in its Teacher Rewards Program. Walmart provided 20 teachers with $50 gift cards to purchase school supplies at the store.

Kemats also reported the school has partnered with the Second Harvest Food Bank to provide students with non-perishable food items to take home with them in their backpacks every Friday. More than 60 children are participating in the program.

The board also:

– Approved the following coaching contracts: Mark Pezzano, girls assistant; Henry Glenn, girls eighth grade; Megan Reynolds, girls seventh grade; Todd Johnson, boys assistant; Jamie Entrikin, boys eighth grade; and Bryan Brownfield, boys seventh grade.

– Approved the following volunteer coaches: Rick Prasco and Maggie Sell, girls basketball; and Ryan Snyder and Jeff Padurean, boys basketball.

– Hired Stephanie Patrick as a math intervention tutor at no more than $250 per day two days week and Audrey Willard as a part-time cafeteria worker.

The next board meeting is 5 p.m. Nov. 5.