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Report card: Dayton among lowest in test scores, attendance

Dayton Public Schools earned an “A” for helping gifted students grow, but the district again saw mostly F’s on the state report card released this month, including scores for achievement and progress on state tests.

The Dayton Daily News is analyzing local school districts’ report card results in more detail. The report card starts with state test score data, but also includes details about teaching staff, attendance, ACT scores and more.

Highs and lows

** Year-over-year progress was again the brightest spot on Dayton’s report card. In addition to the “A” in the gifted category, seven individual schools earned A’s for overall growth on state tests.

** But performance index is the clearest measure of pure achievement on those state exams, and DPS’ 47.6 percentage was the second-lowest in the state.

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** Attendance efforts did not pan out last year, according to the report card, as Dayton schools’ attendance rate of 90.8 percent was sixth-lowest in the state. That’s a drop from 93 percent in 2013, and 92 percent the past three years.

“The expectation for next year is that we will be much higher because we’ve put so many things in place that will help children succeed and give teachers the resources they need,” Superintendent Rhonda Corr said, pointing to new textbooks, on-time busing, and better educational technology.

Teacher data

Dayton teachers averaged 14 years of experience, putting them right at the state median for districts, according to report card data. They averaged a $45,035 salary, which puts the district in the bottom 5 percent in the state, along with Jefferson Twp. Most of the other districts in that range were smaller districts in rural areas.

Teacher attendance in Dayton Public Schools was 95.2 percent — a hair above the state average. That’s just behind Kettering and Miamisburg, and just ahead of Northmont and Mad River.

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District leaders rated 45 percent of Dayton teachers in the highest category of “accomplished,” according to Ohio Teacher Evaluation System data. DPS rated 15 percent of teachers in the two lower categories of developing and ineffective – one of only 13 districts in the state to do so.

School-by-school data

Dayton Public Schools has 28 schools. The district as a whole got an “F” on the achievement grade, measuring state test performance. The seven individual schools that earned a “D” rather than an “F” were Charity Earley, Cleveland, Eastmont, Horace Mann, Kemp, Ruskin and Stivers.

Year-over-year progress scores varied widely. Seven schools earned A’s in progress – Charity Earley, Cleveland, Edison, Horace Mann, Kemp, River’s Edge and World of Wonder – while six schools earned F’s — Belmont, E.J. Brown, Kiser, Louise Troy, Meadowdale High School and Thurgood Marshall.

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K-3 literacy improvement has been an area of focus for DPS – the districtwide grade rose from an “F” to a “D” – and every school that was graded in that category got either a “C” or a “D.” In graduation rate, Stivers received a “B,” Ponitz got a “C,” and the other high schools got F’s.

Prepared for Success

The prepared for success category measures a variety of high school metrics. Dayton Public Schools was above average locally in the percentage of students who earned dual enrollment college credit, at 31.4 percent.

DPS was in the bottom three districts in the Dayton region in the percentage of students who earned honors diplomas (2.2) or got remediation-free scores on the SAT or ACT (6.7 percent).

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Dayton was in the middle of the pack in Montgomery county for the percentage of students who earned qualifying industry credentials (2.9) or scored a 3 or better on at least one advanced placement test (4.6 percent).

Roughly 50 percent entered college within two years, which is higher than about one-third of Ohio school districts, but only 13.6 percent graduated within six years, which puts DPS in the bottom 10 percent of the state.

Odds and ends

Under Ohio’s third-grade reading guarantee, 80.8 percent of Dayton third-graders met the requirements for promotion to fourth grade.

DPS’ four-year graduation rate for the Class of 2016 dipped back down to 72.4 percent, roughly the same as it had been in 2013 and 2014, after a small spike up to 75 percent last year. The five-year graduation rate was 79.9 percent.

Dayton Public Schools are often compared to the rest of the “Ohio 8,” the largest urban school districts in the state. DPS’ performance index on state tests was the lowest of that group and second-lowest in the state overall. But the district’s “gain index” a measure of how much progress students made year-over-year, was higher than every Ohio 8 district except Toledo.

“The state report card is what it is,” Corr said. “The Ohio 8 generally struggle with the report card because it doesn’t show the picture of everything that we’re doing. … Are we where we want to be? No. It will take time.”

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