The Press Club of Toledo recently gave out its 2016 Excellence in Journalism awards, and I’m proud to have received the honor in the print daily category. The award is for this January story, in which Toledo Public Schools grapples with its dismal 63.9 percent four-year high school graduation rate. That rate for the class of 2014 dropped Toledo to the bottom of the eight-urban-district heap in Ohio and made Toledo the second-worst performer in the entire state.
The story came out of the annual Ohio Department of Education school report card data dump, which includes tons of interesting but difficult-to-digest information. This nugget seems to be an especially important detail that local school leaders will be keeping a close eye on.
Just before I won an award for the story, the Toledo school system was able to claim a victory of its own. New department of education data shows Toledo’s class of 2015 four-year graduation rate bumped up to 70.3 percent. Here’s my update from September about that improvement.