In its latest report, the Council of Great City Schools points to the rise and fall of Dayton Public Schools’ Ohio Achievement Test scores and suggests that this movement is a result of local factors. The Council’s report was the subject of the DDN editorial for December 24, 2008.
In fact, if you average the performance scores for all 611 school districts statewide for each year from 2002 to 2008, the movement of those scores is the same as Dayton’s, steady improvement from 2002 through 2006 followed by a two year slippage. The Council’s report for Dayton Public Schools could have been substituted for most school districts in the state. The fact that Dayton reflects statewide trends cannot be written off to coincidence and for the Council to ignore this aspect of statewide trends greatly diminishes its report.
Statewide trends indicate a changing test. Grades tested and subjects tested have been added over the years. If the council wanted to do some real analysis, they would zero in on instances when Dayton bucked the state trend.
The Council’s report also suggests Dayton’s 2007 levy loss may have been due to the public “sensing district uncertainty and loss of energy”. Is this a joke? The public voted against the 2007 levy because it was 15.17 mills. Never has a voter expressed concern to me over the district’s level of energy.
The Council of Great City Schools is the organization that awarded Dr. James Williams its highest honor for an educator nationwide shortly before Dayton sacked him for fiscal irresponsibility. Unfortunately, their latest report reflects some of the same lack of good judgment.