Dayton Public Schools has found the light at the end of a very dark tunnel. Or as DPS Superintendent Percy Mack said, "Well, at least now we know the light is on."

Last week, Mack announced that DPS would jump two spots on Ohio's school rating system, from Academic Emergency into Continuous Improvement--skipping Academic Watch altogether. No mean feat for a district that has earned the state's lowest rating for the past eight years.

State rules automatically allow low-ranked districts that jump ten points in three years on the state's Performance Index--and grow by at least three points in the most recent year--to earn a Continuous Improvement rating. DPS moved from 61.3 to 73.2 on the Performance Index over three years, gains Mack attributes to hard work and improved instruction and accountability. (There's no mention of the intense competition from Dayton's charter schools, which has put added pressure on the district to reform.)

While DPS's achievement is certainly impressive and long overdue, the district still has a long way to go. Stay on the move, DPS.

"District Out of ‘Academic Emergency'," by Scott Elliot, The Dayton Daily News, August 2, 2006.

"Dayton Earned Its Better Grades," Editorial, The Dayton Daily News, August 6, 2006.

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