Comparison misleading

This letter is concerning the presentation Scott Urban gave at the most recent Tiffin City Schools board meeting March 11. The specific stated purpose of the meeting was to be centered on a proposed early childhood program at Lincoln School.

During his presentation and for an unknown reason, Mr. Urban compared graduation rates between Columbian and North Central Academy, even though it was not on the agenda. Mr. Urban was correct in stating Columbian received a better grade for its graduation rate than North Central Academy on its most recent report card. However, Mr. Urban failed to inform the audience on how the graduation rate is calculated.

According to the Ohio Department of Education, all students who enter high school as a freshmen have four years to complete all necessary requirements in order to graduate. The school district receives a grade on its state report card the following school year, showing how successful the district was in graduating all their students within that four-year period.

To date, and what was not acknowledged by Mr. Urban, 35 Tiffin City Schools students have graduated from North Central Academy since the opening of the school in 2009-10 school year. Over the course of the four years since NCA opened, 21 out of those 35 students who transferred to North Central Academy from Tiffin City Schools were credit deficient.

This means those 21 students were not on track to graduate within the four-year mark before enrolling in the North Central Academy. However, after enrolling to North Central Academy, 17 out of those 21 students did graduate on-time from North Central Academy and the remaining four graduated the following year.

What would have happened had North Central Academy not been open as another option for students to receive their high school education? It’s hard to say. However, we are able to speculate or make an opinion based upon information presented to us. I think it is fair to say those 21 students probably would not have graduated at all had North Central Academy not been open. In translation, this means Tiffin City Schools’ graduation rate wouldn’t rate as high as it does now. In fact, Tiffin City Schools’ graduation rate would be much lower because the state report card for Tiffin City does not reflect the students who transferred out.

Unfortunately, not every child who enters high school will graduate, for different reasons. However, the staff at North Central Academy exhausts all their efforts by providing quality education and opportunities for all students to succeed. As a staff, we recognize we have to improve at graduating all of our students within that four-year period. Yet, it is challenging when they are coming to us two years behind schedule and they feel like graduating on time is impossible.

Mr. Urban, these students who have transferred to North Central Academy as already credit deficient are the results of your district’s work. I urge you strongly to consider some factors the next time you want to show how well your district is doing compared to another school. Before insults are made about the program at NCA, I would hope you would realize the impact your remarks have on other school programs and the negative connotation you presented toward the students, staff and parents of Tiffin. I would also remind you these same people are or will be Tiffin voters and they are certainly not enamored with your comments. The promotion of your program should not be made at the expense of other schools.

The comparison and remarks made at the meeting are a testament to your lack of respect and care for these former Tiffin students. As per the Ohio Department of Education SFPR Worksheet Report dated March 7, Tiffin City Schools is losing more than $1.4 million in state funding from the 237 students who have chosen to enroll elsewhere. As Mr. Mr. Urban has been a long-time employee of Tiffin City Schools, would you please answer this one important question – why are Tiffin students leaving and seeking their education elsewhere?


Matt Wolph, director,

North Central Academy