What are "Similar Districts?"
The reports generated for each district compare district trends not only to all Ohio school districts, but also to what are called by the Ohio Department of Education as "Similar Districts."
Each year, the ODE sources basic demographic data for each district (median income, percent disadvantaged, average education level, percent administrative professional employment, school enrollment, etc.) and clusters each school district within these measures.
Each district is then compared to all other districts, and a list of Similar Districts is generated. There are a maximum of 20 Similar Districts for each school district, with some of the districts having fewer Similar Districts due to their demographic profiles.
More information on ODE's "Similar Districts" methodology can be found at http://webapp2.ode.state.oh.us/similar_districts/
What are "Peer Districts?"
Management of each district has a list of those other districts who they consider to be "Peers" -- those districts to which they reference when reviewing their own financial and performance numbers. These are districts which are not necessarily among their ODE-specified Similar Districts. These Peer Districts may be geographically close (and therefore competing for students) or they may have a population or student profile which they consider to be akin to their own.
The District Trend Comparison reports enable district management to specify up to ten Peer Districts with which to compare their own financial and performance data.