A closer look at TPS graduation rates

TOLEDO -- You may remember the recent Johns Hopkins study that showed a 40% drop out rate at most TPS schools.

But the state of Ohio runs its own statistics each year. They take many factors into account including the number of students who drop out or move to other districts. It paints a very optimistic picture.

News 11's Tanieya Lewis takes a closer look at graduation rates within TPS.

A recent report shows that only a quarter of students in large urban school districts make it to graduation day.

Education expert Dr. Alvin Poussaint says, "It's a catastrophe, and there's really terrible things going on in the education system."

In northwest Ohio, the Toledo Public School System is the largest district, teaches the most minority students and is often the object of criticism. But according the state of Ohio, 90 percent of TPS seniors got their diplomas at the end of the 2005-06 school year.

Jan Kilbride is the chief academic officer at TPS. "It shows that much of what we do has validity, and that we're keeping more students in school. It also points out how different means of computing your graduation rate affects what your scores are."

It seems TPS is not too far behind its suburban and rural counter parts. For example, Sylvania schools had a 97% graduation rate that same year. Anthony Wayne schools had a 94% graduation rate.

Plus racial disparities weren't that great for TPS students. Asian students had the highest numbers at nearly 94 percent. Hispanics fell below the state requirement at 87.1 percent. But blacks and whites were only different by a tenth of a point.

Girls beat out the boys by 4 percent. That has TPS working to bridge the gap. Kilbride says, "We have our 'closing the achievement gap' grant that will help do this. We have mentors in the schools, and that's going to be a very powerful way that we can help students."

The district plans to implement a bridge program this summer to help students adjust to high school life.

Posted by LS