DPS schools plan next steps; scores low compared to Ohio’s big cities, charters

New superintendent Lawrence says state report card shows Dayton Public ‘what’s not working’

Dayton Public Schools performed worse than Ohio’s other big-city school districts on the 2022-23 state report cards. They were also narrowly lower than the median score of the local charter schools that draw from much of the same area, and narrowly lower than DPS’ own scores the year before.

DPS Superintendent David Lawrence said the scores have given DPS data on what not to do.

“I think it almost gives us a license to say OK, we know what’s not working,” Lawrence said.

Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, Toledo, Akron, Youngstown and Canton — the other school districts in the group known as the “Ohio 8″ — all performed better than DPS on the latest round of report cards, using the “overall rating points” measure. Those school districts work together and are often compared to each other because of their size, bigger-city location and concentration of low-resource families.

Overall, Dayton Public received a 2-star rating on the report card, matching Cincinnati, Columbus and Canton, while the rest of the Ohio 8 got 2.5 stars. This was the first year that districts received an overall star rating from the state. A five-star rating is the highest a district can receive; three stars means meeting expectations and below three stars does not meet state expectations.

Among the Ohio 8, Dayton was tied for the lowest in the group for year-over-year progress, at 2 stars. But Dayton was the very lowest of the group in performance index on state tests, early literacy percentage, academic gap closing percentage and four-year graduation rate.

Dayton Public’s performance index on state tests slipped just slightly from last year’s 47.0 to 46.7, and their four-year graduation rate slid from 71.4 to 70.8.

Charter schools

The 21 charter schools in the Dayton area that were graded on the report card made a fairly neat bell curve from 1 star to 3.5 stars overall, while one outlier, the Dayton Early College Academy (DECA), earned 4.5 stars.

With the exception of DECA, that’s close to the same bell curve as the 26 individual schools at DPS, which ranged from 1 star (The International School) to 3.5 stars (Stivers).

The local charter schools’ median overall score was 2.5 stars, just above the DPS buildings’ median of 2 stars. DPS’ overall performance index on state tests (46.7) was just above the median among local charter schools (46.4). And the median progress score for charters was 3 stars, compared to 2 stars for DPS schools.

Among elementary schools, charter schools Emerson Academy and Klepinger Community School were at the top with 3.5 stars. Dayton Public’s top elementaries were Horace Mann, River’s Edge and Cleveland, each with 3 stars.

Klepinger and the DECA high school were the only schools in the city of Dayton (DPS or charter) to earn 5 stars in the year-over-year progress category.

DECA Prep, the elementary school for DECA High School, received a three-star rating, a rise from their last report card. DECA officials said they had been working with high-dosage tutoring, and pushing to make sure all the students who need extra support are getting it.

“It’s super hard work, but our teachers are making progress every day, and we see that reflected in student learning,” said Lane Current, DECA director of curriculum and instruction.

There’s also been a focus on supporting teachers, through development and training, resources and curriculum available. The school has also been transparent to teachers with data, Current said.

Current said the school is moving forward with a reading curriculum focused on the best practices of reading, meant to give students the best way to learn to read, and for students found not on-track for reading, the school has implemented interventions.

STEM school: The Dayton Regional STEM School, which is in its own category as neither a district nor a charter school, received 4.5 stars overall. The school near the Kettering-Dayton border, which serves grades 6-12, earned 3 stars in year-over-year progress, and had a 100% four-year graduation rate.

Improvements at DPS

One of Lawrence’s stated goals for Dayton Public Schools is to bring students back from charter and private schools to the district. Around half the students who live in the DPS geography do not attend Dayton Public, instead choosing a private school or charter school.

Lawrence said he anticipates the changes to the curriculum and teaching environments, which are based on bodies of research on how kids learn, will help the district see academic improvement.

He said DPS gets support from the community, from organizations like Omega Community Development Corporation, Miami Valley Child Development Centers and many others, which is also a key to success.

Lawrence said he wants to get everyone in the same room, to compare notes about what they do and what resources they have.

Lawrence said the district is working to increase preschool enrollment in the city, which would help improve early literacy. But he said there are some gaps that still needed to be filled, which the district is working on with Preschool Promise, a local nonprofit focused on getting kids ready for kindergarten.

“That report card piece, we can change it through consistently implementing things that we know work, and I mean, consistently implementing,” Lawrence said.

Charter school/DPS report cards

NOTE ON DPS: The DPS stats below are districtwide. Individual schools in DPS got 1.0 to 3.5 overall stars: 1 STAR - The International School; 1.5 STARS - Dunbar, Belmont, Wogaman, Westwood, Belle Haven; 2 STARS - Meadowdale, Thurgood Marshall, Mound Street Academy, EJ Brown, Wright Brothers, Edison, Fairview, Ruskin, Valerie; 2.5 STARS - Ponitz, Charity Adams, Eastmont, Louise Troy, Kemp, Kiser, Roosevelt; 3 STARS - Horace Mann, River's Edge, Cleveland; 3.5 STARS - Stivers ...... SOURCE: Ohio Department of Education (schools with no graduation rate listed are early-grade schools)

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Charter school or district nameOverallPerform. Index %Progress4-year grad rateEnroll 2022-23
Dayton Early College Academy, Inc4.5 Stars74.25 Stars93.5330
Emerson Academy3.5 Stars60.74 Stars 627
Klepinger Community School3.5 Stars41.15 Stars 528
Trotwood Preparatory & Fitness Academy3 Stars56.83 Stars 330
North Dayton School of Discovery3 Stars63.83 Stars 542
DECA PREP3 Stars63.73 Stars 911
Pathway School of Discovery3 Stars64.83 Stars 747
Dayton Leadership Academy2.5 Stars48.33 Stars 474
Horizon Science Academy-Dayton2.5 Stars46.64 Stars 191
Horizon Science Academy Dayton HS2.5 Stars43.82 Stars92.9292
Dayton Business Technology HS2.5 Stars45.03 Stars58.866
Summit Academy Transition HS Dayton2.5 Stars47.23 Stars84.271
Horizon Science Academy Downtown2 Stars42.43 Stars 178
Montgomery Preparatory Academy2 Stars46.42 Stars 258
City Day Community School2 Stars37.83 Stars 189
Summit Academy CS - Dayton2 Stars39.13 Stars 65
Dayton school district overall (DPS)2 Stars46.72 Stars70.812,215
Dayton SMART Elementary School1.5 Stars48.71 Star 82
Gem City Career Prep High School1.5 Stars33.32 Stars28.3122
Dayton Career Tech High School1.5 Stars40.01 Star30.8111
Dayton Athletic Vocational Academy1 Star42.7NR9.189
The Dayton School1 Star38.5NR 34