Dayton Early College Academy Chief Academic Officer Dave Taylor tells Ohio Gov. John Kasich about the school’s college prep program. LAURA A. BISCHOFF/PHOTO
Photo: Laura A. Bischoff
Photo: Laura A. Bischoff

Kasich names Dayton charter school as innovation leader

DECA performed best among charters in Montgomery County.

During a news conference Tuesday, Kasich also pledged to increase K-12 spending by 1 percent per year in the upcoming state budget. The funding boost will amount to about $200 million in state funds, the Kasich administration said.

Kasich held up DECA and other schools that weave together college prep and work experience into their curricula as models.

“I think public education is so important, it’s just got to change,” Kasich said. “It’s got to adapt. It’s got to reform.”

DECA, which started in 2003 as a partnership between Dayton Public Schools and the university, is one of the first early college high schools in the state and the 10th in the nation. DECA targets those who are low-income and minorities and spends just over $10,000 per student. The group also operates elementary and middle schools. Its total enrollment is 1,113.

DECA Chief Academic Officer Dave Taylor said students have advisers and mentors and are allowed to take classes at the University of Dayton so that they are college-ready by the time they graduate. Nearly 75 percent of DECA grads are in college or have graduated from college, he said.

State report cards released in September show DECA performed the best among charters in Montgomery County. Dayton Early College Academy posted the highest performance index, at 83.56. The school earned A’s in student progress and graduation rate, but D’s and F’s in the other components.

Local charters outperformed Dayton Public Schools on the 2016 report cards.

In addition to DECA, the schools highlighted by Kasich were: Bio-Med Science Academy, Cristo Rey Network, Ginn Academy, Marietta City Schools, Marysville School District and the Toledo School for the Arts.

Kasich also said that he plans to a modest funding increase for higher education but warned — again — that public colleges and universities must control their costs or lose students who will flock to lower-cost online options.