TPS shows improvement with state report cardWritten by Zach Davis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Toledo Public Schools received its Ohio Performance Report for the 2011-12 school year on Aug. 24 which showed overall improvement in the Toledo area.
TPS received an 83.1 district score out of Ohio’s 120-point scale, up 0.5 from last year and four points from 2006-07. Toledo’s scores have risen in each of the last four years.
“There are some successes to celebrate,” Chief Academic Officer Jim Gault said. “We have moved up and we are continuing to move up but we believe we can do it at a much quicker rate.”
Among Toledo’s 54 schools 35 rank as “Continuous Improvement” or higher on the five-grade scale. At the top grade, five schools were ranked as “Excellent” followed by 13 as “Effective” and 17 as “Continuous Improvement.”
“Today was a time of congratulating the district and those who did well in the district and addressing the concerns that we need to address as we go into the future,” TPS Assistant Superintendent Romules Durant said.
As for the lowest two grades, 19 schools finished with that designation. Among that group, nine schools finished on “Academic Watch” and 10 were given the lowest rating of “Academic Emergency.”
TPS is continuing to implement their plans so that schools in Academic Emergency can emerge stronger, as Martin Luther King, Jr. Academy for Boys did this year. The school moved to the Continuous Improvement level after being at the bottom last year.
“This was a school that was underperforming and losing population,” Gault said. “It was basically a dying school. We brought in additional support and outside organizations that came in to support the students and make them well rounded and you can see the results today.”
To help improve schools like ‘King,’ TPS installed a transformation plan last year which brought in programs such as the United Way and Big Brothers Big Sisters into the schools from the kindergarten through eight grade. They funded the programs through grant money.
“We were hoping for better results but we knew last year that we had to change the system,” Gault said. “We knew we weren’t progressing as quickly as we liked or as the students deserved.”
In effort to help improve some of the other schools that have landed on the Academic Emergency list, TPS will also be taking other steps into the future to help keep the scores improving.
“We need the community to partner with us, our success will be theirs,” Gault said. “We also will continue to work our plan. We will look at teacher evaluations and administrative evaluations, which are based on student performance, and begin putting that next plan in.”
TPS has given itself a two-year window to which it expects to see greater results. While next year’s reports will be a good marker, Gault said that the process ultimately will face challenges and that 2013 is when to expect more significant improvement.
“We do have a vision and a plan for this district and we will be effective in two years and we will celebrate those successes when they happen,” Gault said.