Dayton Public Schools saw proficiency levels on state tests rise at the elementary and middle school levels this school year, while high school scores declined, according to preliminary data released by the district this week.
Superintendent Rhonda Corr presented the preliminary score breakdown to school board members Tuesday night, saying that “overall we did a great job.”
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Ohio Department of Education officials said Thursday that districts still have to verify their score data from the test vendor, then input the scores into the state’s Education Management Information System and file any appeals. The state report card with official scores will not be released until September.
“In English/Language Arts, we went up 5 percent in grades 3-8,” Corr said. “In mathematics, we went up 6 percent, in science there were gains in every single area and we went up 3 percent, and in social studies it was up 4 percent in the elementaries, but we lost 1 percent in the high schools.”
Dayton Public Schools’ scores on the previous year’s report card showed some cause for encouragement. While the district still ranked near the bottom of the state overall, DPS earned an “A” in student growth, measuring how much progress they had made in the past year.
On the 2016-17 preliminary results, the two primary subjects of English and math followed the same pattern – improvement at the younger grades, and decline in older grades.
In English, grades 3, 5 and 6 improved significantly, with the number of students scoring proficient increasing by 5 to 12 percentage points from the previous year. Grades 4, 7 and 8 saw virtually no change, while the proficiency level declined by 1 percentage point on the high school English 1 test, and by 6 points on the English 2 test.
In grades 3 to 6, about 30 percent of DPS students were proficient in English, while in grades 7 and up, the average was about 20 percent.
In math, every age from third grade through eighth grade improved its proficiency level from DPS’ previous year results, with increases ranging from 3 to 10 percentage points. But proficiency levels on the high school exams dipped, by 4 points on Algebra 1 and 2 points on geometry.
In third and fourth grade, more than 33 percent of DPS math students score proficient. But in eighth grade and high school, the numbers were in the teens.
“I believe in DPS,” school board President Robert Walker told the crowd at Tuesday’s school board meeting, after the scores were announced. “So what I’m saying to you who are students there, keep the faith, because the future is bright.”
Proficiency rates on all three science tests — grades 5, 8 and high school biology – rose by 2 to 4 percentage points over DPS’ performance last year. Proficiency rates in those preliminary scores were between 22 and 26 percent.
Social studies was a mixed bag, with proficiency rates ranging from 19 to 38 percent. One elementary grade was up, and one was down. High school was the same, with American government up and American history down. But none of those proficiency rates changed by more than 5 percentage points.
Corr said if there is any change in scores at all in the official report card, it should be an increase, as the district verifies its data.
“Thank you to all the teachers and the principals and the parents and the students,” Corr said. “Thank you to the board for giving me this opportunity to lead this district. And I look forward to greater things next year.”
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