Sojourner’s Truth Staff
The Ohio Department of Education has released its school report cards for the 2021-2022 academic year and the reports are generally not good for virtually all small, medium and large Ohio cities’ public school districts.
Toledo Public School students also did not fare well in categories such as Achievement, Graduation (four year) and Early Literacy. In a grading system using five stars, TPS students earned two stars in Achievement (“Needs support to meet state standards in academic achievement”); one star in Graduation (“Needs significant support to meet state standards in graduation rates”) and one star in Early Literacy (“Needs significant support to meet state standards in early literacy”).
However, TPS students, unlike most of their peers their peers around the state, did much better when it came to showing progress. In the Progress category, Toledo public school students earned a rating of four stars (“Significant evidence that the district exceeded student growth expectations”).
Among Ohio major cities, all of which also earned low grades in the graduation, achievement and early literacy categories, none but Cleveland Public Schools matched Toledo’s high grade in the Progress category.
”In our Progress score, we’ve shown significant growth,” said TPS Superintendent, Romules Durant, EdD. “Our kids have shown more growth and outpaced their peer group – they’ve exceeded when it comes to making up for the learning loss [over the last two years] within the last year’s period assessment.”
The Progress category is significantly good news, to be sure, but in the category of Gap Closing, TPS also scored a hit with three stars (“Meets state criteria in closing educational gaps”).
“There is wholistic growth in our gap closure,” said Durant. “We are closing the gap among ethnicities, among socio-economic groups along with the other sub-groups such as special needs.”
The growth Durant noted can be seen in the improvement on 16 of the 18 tests taken by the students and in the solid results amongst third graders. “Ninety-seven percent of third graders met the promotional score which we have never had before,” he said, observing that typically, over the years, third graders have been around the 85 percentile in their promotion scoring.
“Let’s stay the course, continue to do our end-of-the-school interventions as well as our summer interventions.
While the four-year graduation rate needs significant improvement according to the state report card, Durant touted the five-year graduation rate of 85.1 percent. “It is a dip in the four-year rate but a huge spike in the five-year rate – showed us that kids are not wanting to give up.
“I’m proud of our staff and the resiliency. The staff is going out, pulling the kids off the job lines and saying you can’t be out here working. The staff did not give up on these kids and the kids did not give up on themselves.
There is more good news to come. Romules and TPS are announcing this week a plan to bring increase the total number of magnet schools to 10 by the 23-24 academic year – focusing on a variety of skill areas such as pre-med, maritime, performing arts, construction trades, nature sciences and more. Details to follow in our next issue.