Dayton schools get “F” on report card; test scores rank last in Ohio

Dayton Public Schools received an overall grade of “F” on the state report card released Thursday, meaning the district will be subject to state takeover next fall if it doesn’t improve during the current school year.

DPS officials said some of the district’s test data was incorrectly reported by its software vendor, but that was unlikely to change the overall grade. It was the only overall “F” in the region and one of 14 statewide.

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“We’ve been expecting that our score would be an ‘F’ since we got the preliminary results,” Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli said. “We’ve already started processes and put things in place to make sure that it’s not an ‘F’ next year, and I think that we’re on the right track.”

The data released Thursday had Dayton last in the state in performance index, the most complete measure of state test performance. Last year, DPS ranked second-last, ahead of only Trotwood.

The data issue makes it unclear whether DPS’ performance index will change. A district statement said “test results in specific areas have been negatively impacted by the software issues.” The statement said the changes affected student progress and gap closing data for individual high schools, but did not mention performance index.

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In four-year graduation rate, Dayton (69.5 percent) ranked fifth-lowest in the state, behind Ohio’s other large urban districts and far behind local districts, as Jefferson Twp. was next at 77.1 percent.

This four-year data is for the Class of 2017, and represents DPS’ worst graduation rate in at least five years. Dayton’s graduation rate had been around 72 percent in recent years.

DPS avoided F’s in two of the report card’s six components — earning D’s student progress and K-3 Literacy Improvement. In student progress, DPS’ overall “value-added” score was worse than many districts that got F’s in progress, but DPS got a sub-grade of “B” for the progress its gifted students made, lifting the component grade.

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Dayton Public Schools officials say they’ve been working with the Powerschool Software Company since June 25 to fix data reporting errors caused by the company’s software, but problems persist.

PowerSchool officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday afternoon.

Lolli said DPS submitted proper information, but because of Powerschool formatting errors, some data was reported to the Ohio Department of Education incorrectly or not at all. She said the problem shouldn’t impact any individual students.

Lolli said the district has begun legal action against Powerschool to resolve the issue and continues working with the state to address it.

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