Less than two years after Cincinnati Public Schools launched the Elementary Initiative in September 2008, 13 of 16 targeted "Turnaround Schools" have shown measurable improvement in overall student achievement.
Seven of the 16 targeted schools jumped one or two categories on the 2009-10 Ohio Report Card issued by the Ohio Department of Education. Six of the schools met all federal accountability targets for Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in 2009-10.
The five EI schools that jumped two categories on the 2009-10 Ohio Report Card, achieving the Continuous Improvement rating:
- Rockdale Academy
- Roll Hill Academy
- Rothenberg Preparatory Academy
- Ethel M. Taylor Academy
- William H. Taft School
Underscoring the five schools' achievement is the fact that none had ever before emerged from Academic Emergency, the lowest state rating.
The following targeted schools moved up one category into Continuous Improvement:
- Frederick Douglass School
- Oyler School
Two schools moved up one category into Academic Watch:
- Pleasant Hill Academy
- Pleasant Ridge Montessori School
The district's overall performance also has improved since the launch of the Elementary Initiative. Cincinnati Public Schools had ranked in Continuous Improvement, the middle category, for six years, but had hovered close to the next lower ranking of Academic Watch. With the turnaround of these previously low-performing schools, in 2009-10, for the first time ever, CPS moved up into the Effective rating — the first and only urban school district in Ohio to achieved that high of a rating.
Data showed progress toward closing the achievement gap as well. In math, for example, from 2009 to 2010, the gap between the low-performing schools and those that were not part of the Elementary Initiative closed by nearly 7 points. (Schools outside the EI program mostly are in relatively more-affluent neighborhoods and already were meeting proficiency requirements.)