The district is committed to the goal of having every student be
college or career-ready,” wrote TPS Superintendent Dr.
Romules Durant in a recent op-ed. “The investment the
district is making in preparing students for the future is
paying off and the success shows in this year’s report card.”
The improvement on this year’s report card moves TPS out of
academic distress at a time when state lawmakers are heavily
discussing another round of education reforms, including
significant revisions to the state’s funding formula for local
school districts. Top TPS administrators emphasize improved
educational opportunities offered to students are directly
responsible for moving targeted academic areas in the right
TPS officials emphasize the district’s improvement in specific
areas is all the more remarkable considering the high number of
students living in poverty or with a disadvantaged status.
Department of Education
report cards issue letter grades for each of the state’s school
districts while measuring six factors: achievement, progress,
gap closing, graduation rate, K-3 literacy, and preparing
students for success. The report cards, though, are designed to
go beyond a district’s performance, but to indicate areas for
In a joint public statement issued by the TPS superintendent
and board of education, district officials stated they welcome
“transparency about its performance, but believes the state
report card gives a woefully incomplete picture of public
education in this and other urban districts.”
“Even with these results, the State Report Card remains overly
broad and continues to fail to accurately capture our progress,”
the statement reads.
In the op-ed piece, Dr. Durant emphasized TPS “saw
growth in many areas,” particularly graduation rates and early
childhood education. The reference points used in a TPS report
on the district’s website coincide with when Dr. Durant was
named TPS superintendent.
The district’s latest overall graduation rate tops 79 percent, an
eight percent increase over 2018 and 15 points higher than 2014.
The graduation rate for African-American students, according to
Dr. Durant topped 80 percent, a 21 percent improvement in the
past five years.
But Latino graduation rates have proven to be uneven over the past
five years, despite TPS figures showing an overall 14 percent
increase since 2014 to 71.4 percent. The yearly rates fluctuated
from 56.7 percent in the 2013-14 academic year to 70.6 percent
and 72 percent the following two years. The 2016-17 graduation
rate dipped to 61.9 percent before a dramatic increase back to
prior year levels. Latino students continue to have the lowest
graduation rate among TPS students.
The district also bills itself as “preparing students to be college
and career ready.”
To that end, TPS officials point out more than 91 percent of
students who followed a career-tech pathway in high school
entered employment, enrolled in higher education, or enlisted in
the military after graduation. The number of students enrolled
in career technology programs has increased by more than 2,200
The percentage of students passing the kindergarten to
third-grade literacy test nearly doubled. Over 87 percent of
students passed the Third Grade Reading Guarantee, a jump of
just under 14 percent from three years earlier. According to
district statistics, students who attended TPS early childhood
education programs scored higher on kindergarten readiness tests
than non-TPS kids.
One other metric that fails to show up on the state report card
is student enrollment figures. TPS saw a net gain of just over
1,800 students over the past five years, with a current
enrollment of 23,160 students. However, that is still just over
two-thirds of the students who reside in the Toledo Public
According to state statistics, more than 12,000 students who
live in TPS territory are seeking education options other than
their home school system. That includes over 7,000 students
enrolled in a charter or community school, more than 1,300 who
sought an out-of-district transfer and more than 2,600 students
who are enrolled in one of the state’s EdChoice
scholarship programs, which allow them to attend participating
private or parochial schools, or an option that focus on autism
or special needs.
TPS enrollment has boasted more than 30,000 students in prior
years—before other educational choices became increasingly
available. District officials still must convince those students
and families of its improving performance metrics before even
more of them will be convinced enough to return to TPS.
More results from the state report card and district data can be