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State Releases Recommendations For Dayton Schools

Kindergarten teacher Elizabeth Toomey is using cubes to help her students during a math lesson in Spanish.
Ariel Van Cleave

Following a visit earlier this year, The Ohio Department of Education has released its recommendations for improving Dayton Public Schools.

To the state, DPS is considered “at risk.” A district review team was in Dayton in January to talk to teachers, administrators, parents and students to pinpoint areas in need of change. The big themes from the report are “consistency” and “training.” Team members found staff professional development was lacking, programs and missions changed too often and opportunities for students were not equal throughout the district.

DPS School Board President Dr. Robert Walker says the board is working on these issues, but --

“It’s not happening as fast as we want it to happen. That’s what this report is saying to me. We need to increase our level of urgency,” he said.

Officials have three years to get the district out of its “failing” status, which Walker says isn’t much time. And various leaders say there are factors working against DPS such as the overwhelming number of families in poverty. In addition, private and charter schools are competing for high-quality teachers. If DPS doesn’t improve, a state academic distress commission would take over the district.