By Fletcher Word
The Truth Editor
Toledo Public Schools earned 2.5 stars in the latest State of Ohio report card. The score indicates, according to the state’s analysis, that the TPS district “needs support to meet state standards.” However, while the report card results do not reflect a passing grade, the district fell short by only “seventeen hundreds of a point,” noted TPS Superintendent Romules Durant, EdD, of reaching a passing grade of three stars.
“We’re very close to the next star rating and get us back to the range where we were pre-pandemic,” Durant said. “We feel good about our growth and the direction we’re mobbing in.”
The report card grades districts in five areas. The first category is “achievement” which, according to the Department of Education, measures “where student performance in state tests meet established thresholds.” TPS, a district with 21,163 students, earned two stars in this category.
The second category is “progress” which measures “the growth all students are making on their past performances.” TPS students earned four stars in this category for the second straight year, said Durant.
“Gap Closing” is the third category and the district earned three stars in this section which measures “the reduction in educational gaps for student subgroups.” This category measures the relative achievement amongst racial and ethnic groups of students.
The graduation rate for TPS earned only one star as did the fifth category of “early literacy.” The TPS graduation rates were 73.4 for four-year students and 79.2 for five-year students.
The early literacy category has three components: proficiency in third-grade reading (the TPS grade was 37.0 percent); promotion to the fourth grade (99.4 percent) and improving K-3 literacy (20.3 percent0 for an overall component score of 54.7 percent.
Aside from the fact that the district almost achieved a passing grade of three stars – falling .17 points short – there are some other very positive signs for Durant and his staff. First, the Toledo city district finished with higher marks than any other large Ohio city. Ten years ago, when the Durant administration took over, Toledo was ranked last among the large urban districts.
“We’ve gone from the lowest to the highest in 10 years,” said Durant. It’s worth noting that Durant is the senior serving superintendent among those large city districts.
The second positive note for the district was the performance of the magnet schools such as Toledo Technology Academy, Toledo Early College High School and Toledo Pre-Medical and Health Science Academy which all scored exceptionally well.
In fact, in recent rankings, U.S. News & World Report places Toledo Tech in the top two percent of American high schools for academic excellence and Toledo Early College in the top five percent.
Joining TPS with the lowest overall scores among the northwest Ohio districts was Washington Local Schools, also with a 2.5 star rating. Rossford was the next lowest with a 3.5 star score and the remaining districts received between four and five stars.
Ratings for private schools have not yet been released.