After this year's state school report card results have come out, the Akron Public School district is aiming for higher competition.
Akron got a "continuous improvement" rating, and it's overall "performance index" went up for the third year in a row.
But Akron schools assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction Ellen McWilliams says it's what's under the improved numbers that counts.
"We've seen increases in nearly every grade level, in math, across the entire district," McWilliams tells AkronNewsNow.com. "And also in reading, at the elementary and middle school we had big gains again in terms of, across almost every grade level."
Akron is at or near the top of the state report card numbers among Ohio's 8 big city districts.
But McWilliams says the Akron district should start comparing itself to other schools in Summit County - both community schools and other public schools.
"The superintendent and I feel real strongly that we focus more regionally," McWilliams says. "We're preparing the next workforce in this city and this county, so our comparison group really needs to be here locally with the other Summit County schools."
In this year's rankings, Akron is the only public school district in the county not to reach at least the "effective" rating.
But McWilliams says the district's upward swing means it could reach the number needed for "effective" level soon - though those state designations will change next year.
The board also passed on its consent agenda the Five Year Forecast the district will submit to the state. The forecast had been presented to board members at the last board meeting.
It contains a sobering line about the bottom line, a message delivered two weeks ago to board members by Akron district treasurer Jack Pierson:
"If Issue 61 is not passed, APS will need to reduce expenditures by up to $23 million for school year 2013-2014 to balance that year's budget."