Dayton Public Schools resets takeover countdown

September 14, 2016
Contact: Jill Moberley, Public Information Officer
Jmoberle@dps.k12.oh.us
For Immediate Release

Value added grade takes district out of academic distress

    The standardized testing system in Ohio has given Dayton Public Schools a reprieve from the Academic Distress Commission, resetting the clock and giving the district a fresh start. One score, an A, in value added, was all it took. 
    “While this doesn’t mean the district’s academic performance is where it needs to be, it’s a good start to our turnaround,” Dayton Public Schools Superintendent Rhonda Corr said.
    “Past report results included four different tests, reflecting an unprecedented number of changes in state testing over a short period of time. We can’t allow this to distract us from improving student achievement. We’re working on continuing to focus on value added, because it is how we move kids from below grade-level performance to at grade-level performance,” Corr said.

    Belle Haven, Edison, Horace Mann, Kemp and Wogaman earned a letter grade of A in all value added areas, while other elementary schools, Charity Adams Earley, Dayton Boys Prep Academy, Eastmont, River’s Edge and Meadowdale, earned As or Bs. Looking at some of the other numbers, 10 DPS elementary schools had 90% or more of their third graders meet the standard for the third grade reading guarantee, and there was a 10 percentage point increase in our high school graduation rates over the last five years. 
    “We’re in the business of preparing students for life, and a high school diploma is the first step to almost every career field,” Corr said.
    Spending too much time comparing these grades to other districts, or to other years isn’t important, looking at them as a roadmap for where we need to work harder is all we can do. Our district isn’t like any other district in the area, we have more special needs students, more English as a second language students, and a high percentage of kids who bounce back and forth from charter to public school and back again. These are challenges that other districts don’t face.
    Changes at DPS include a reorganization of leadership to focus talent in specific problem areas, including the creation of the Office for Males of Color to help make sure that this high-risk group graduates. New strategies to improve attendance will be in place this year to make sure students aren’t missing school because of problems that we can solve, and new leaders have been brought in to refine our curriculum and academic standards.
The district also has worked strategically to put the following programs and initiatives in place:

•    DPS has implemented a one-to-one technology initiative to facilitate adaptive learning and meet individual student needs using Chromebooks in grades three through eight—and next year, all students will have Chromebooks. 

•    DPS is investing in high-quality preschool education: All 14 DPS preschool programs reviewed by the state received the highest Five-Star Step Up to Quality rating offering free high-quality early childhood education to young learners. 

•    DPS is working to improve student attendance and prevent chronic absenteeism. Poor attendance is a surprisingly prevalent but often overlooked factor in why students and schools are struggling academically. Success begins with less than 10: If our students miss fewer than 10 days, academic achievement increases and so does the probability of graduating on time.

•    DPS is focused on recruiting highly qualified staff and providing professional development.

•    DPS is providing intervention during and after school with students in reading and mathematics.

•    DPS established the Office for Males of Color to narrow the achievement gap and increase the graduation rate for the largest segment of our student population.

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About Value Added: Progress measures have previously been based on state test results in English language arts and math in grades four through eight. The Progress measures this year's added state tests in science for grades five and eight and social studies for grade six, as well as English language arts and math end-of-course high school exams. The state examines students’ state tests through a series of calculations to produce a “value-added” rating for schools or districts for each of these four groups.

Expected growth by a student group gives a school or district a C grade. A group that has made more than expected growth earns the school or district an A or B grade, depending on the amount of growth. A student group that has made less than expected growth results in a D or F grade for the school or district.
 

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