Our May 2010 report Needles in a Haystack: Lessons from Ohio’s high-performing, high-need urban schools profiled successful elementary schools that serve challenging populations. Due to the overwhelming positive response, we have commissioned a follow-up report that looks at high-performing urban high schools. Peter Meyer – journalist, author, and senior policy fellow at Fordham – has been traveling to the selected schools to chronicle what makes them work. (He wrote a bit about his experiences at these schools in January.)

We’ve been working to improve the education landscape in our hometown of Dayton for nearly twelve years. The work is never easy and often frustrating. We were disappointed two years ago not to be able to feature a Dayton elementary school in our report. Thus we are pleased to be featuring two outstanding high schools there in this edition: Dayton Early College Academy (a charter school) and Stivers Schools for the Arts (a district-operated magnet school).

The charts below compare DECA’s and Stivers’ tenth-grade students’ performance on the math section of last year’s Ohio Graduation Test to their peers in the Dayton Public School district. The OGT certainly isn’t known for its rigor and we don’t want to overstate a school’s excellence based on its performance on that test. But these results do make clear that DECA and Stivers are delivering their students to far higher levels of achievement than the district as a whole. We’re pleased by their successes and look forward to sharing more about these two schools, and four others, in our report. Watch for its release toward the end of this school year.

Source: Ohio Department of Education PowerUsers Report, accessed March 21, 2012.

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