Dayton Public Schools plans $3.2M contract to ‘transform’ 6 schools

Fairview Elementary is one of six schools on Dayton Public Schools' "transformation" plan.
Fairview Elementary is one of six schools on Dayton Public Schools' "transformation" plan.

Credit: Jeremy P. Kelley

Credit: Jeremy P. Kelley

Dayton’s school board on Tuesday approved the first piece of a $3.2 million contract with Ed Direction, a Utah-based company that works on school transformation through teacher and team training and coaching.

The board approved a $60,000 contract Tuesday to get started, but Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli said DPS’ total share over three years will be $1.7 million, with the rest coming from grant funding, some of that from Learn to Earn Dayton.

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The targeted schools are Fairview, Roosevelt and Kiser elementaries, EJ Brown and Wogaman middle schools, and Thurgood Marshall High School.

“We looked at test results, and those buildings have pretty significant numbers of F’s,” Lolli said. “Our hope is to get them up to C’s, then move on to other buildings.”

DPS canceled a previous school turnaround contract with the University of Virginia in April 2020, citing lack of return on investment.

Ed Direction has partnered with the state education departments in Indiana and Illinois, and they advertise that they are committed to “the slog of implementation,” quoting author Ben Levin.

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“The pizzazz is around having the seemingly new idea, whereas the real work is in making it happen,” Ed Direction’s materials say. “While innovations tend to get the profile, the slog work of implementation is what makes the difference in the end.”

Lolli said the company will start assessments in the six schools next week. She said the contract is structured so that if the schools don’t increase scores by set amounts over three years, Ed Direction doesn’t get the second half of its payment.

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