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Youngstown falls to worst in state



Published: Wed, August 26, 2009 @ 10:54 a.m.
2009 School Report Cards
  Wendy Webb - Report Card

Youngstown City Schools were named the worst in the state as the annual report cards were released on Tuesday.

Youngstown City Schools were named the worst in the state as the annual report cards were released on Tuesday.

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Youngstown City Schools Superintendent Wendy Webb, Tuesday, August 25, 2009.

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NOT A HAPPY CAMPER: Anthony Catale, president of the Youngstown Board of Education, said the district’s academic emergency rating on its state local report card is “absolutely unacceptable.” The district will be working to improve academic performance, he said at a Tuesday press conference.

By HAROLD GWIN

VINDICATOR EDUCATION WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN — “We’re not looking for excuses; we’re looking to move our students forward,” said Wendy Webb, Youngstown schools superintendent, as she reviewed the district’s annual state local report card.

Youngstown fell from academic watch to academic emergency in the report card issued Tuesday. It’s the lowest academic rating the state gives, and Youngstown is the only public school district out of 610 districts at that level.

“We are very frustrated. We are disappointed,” Webb said, explaining that the state’s emphasis on value-added data — the tracking of academic progress of students from one year to the next — resulted in Youngstown’s slip.

The district hasn’t met the expected levels of progress over the last three years, according to the Ohio Department of Education. Further, the district failed to meet its Adequate Yearly Progress goals, which measure the academic performance of student subgroups such as Hispanic, black, limited English proficiency and students with disabilities.

As a result, its rating dropped one level.

Webb said student disabilities and poverty are negative factors when it comes to educational performance. Nearly 20 percent of Youngstown’s 7,000 students are special-needs children, and the poverty rate is pushing 90 percent, she said.

Webb said the district is revising its strategic education plan, working on collaborative goals with teachers and ensuring that teaching is being done to meet the state standards, progress is monitored for all students, and the curriculum is data-driven, responding to the academic needs of students.

Deborah Delisle, Ohio’s superintendent of public instruction, said the state education department will send an Academic Distress Commission to Youngstown to be involved with that planning.

Webb said ODE already has been in Youngstown this year, working with the district to review its academic plan and curriculum, visiting all schools in the process.

She said the ODE team found that although the school district’s goals are aligned with the state education standards, some of what is being taught in individual classrooms isn’t.

Youngstown has an ODE staff outreach person working with it on that issue now, Webb said.

The commission is assigned only to districts rated in academic emergency. It’s a five-member body — with three appointed by the superintendent of public instruction and two by the president of the school board — that has some extensive authority, including the power to appoint school building administrators and reassign administrative personnel, terminate the contracts of administrators or administrative personnel, and even contract with a private entity to perform school or district management functions.

Delisle said the commission, the first to be set up in Ohio, won’t be so heavy-handed, however.

Her desire is that it work in collaboration with the district to identify practices and procedures and come to a mutual agreement on the best course of action to pursue.

Anthony Catale, president of the Youngstown Board of Education, called the report card rating “absolutely unacceptable.”

He said there have been a couple of factors that have prevented the district from concentrating as much as it may have liked on academics, most notably cutbacks in staff and spending as Youngstown seeks to recover from fiscal emergency and the district’s rebuilding program that has had students and teachers shifted from building to building over the last few years.

But, “There are no excuses,” Catale said, noting that the school board will continue to call for a “user-friendly continuous improvement plan” that will show the public what each building will be doing to improve academically.

Catale was a member of the school board’s curriculum committee that a year ago charged the administration with developing an action plan for each school with a goal of reaching a continuous-improvement ranking on its report card this year.

Youngstown met only one of 30 state educational standards last year but met two this year. The curriculum committee had set a goal of four.

Webb said the district is using federal stimulus money to add a program to reach out to students by offering after-hours “homework centers” staffed by teachers in the city’s public libraries as well as the United Methodist Center, Pearl Street, and Organizacion Civica y Cultural Hispana Americana offices on Shirley Road. That could be expanded to include weekends, she said.

Parents can help by setting the tone for what is expected from their children in school, set aside specific homework time and ensure that children get a good breakfast, the most important meal of the day, she added.

gwin@vindy.com


Comments

1Ytownnative(1008 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

"The curriculum committee had set a goal of four"
What is this the US Air Force ?? Aim high and score 4 of 30? This is such a joke. They did score 6.6% so Im guessing that is their pay raise next year.

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2Leonardo(4 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Two points, one negative, one positive:

1. The Value Added measurement was designed to help IMPROVE report card scores for down and out schools like Youngstown that may have students who are years behind and aren't likely to catch up to their grade level proficiency in just one year, but as long as they make a year's progress from where they were last year, the school will score well in the value added section. If Youngstown has 9th graders operating at a 6th grade level and in one year they couldn't move them to a seventh grade level, setting aside entirely hopes of getting them to a 10th grade level, something is seriously, magnificently wrong.

2. There are many thousands of students who live within the city limits but attend school outside of Youngstown via open enrollment or in charter academies. Those students might very well, had they stayed in Youngstown schools, scored well on the state tests, significantly boosting Youngstown's report card. Further, without their exodus, millions of dollars in open enrollment funds and charter school vouchers wouldn't have left the city school system. It's a vicious cycle that puts Youngstown in a very difficult position.

Still it's not much of an excuse for being the absolute worst school in the state. Other urban districts face the same kinds of hardships and don't perform so miserably.

Bottom line: Raises any time in the next decade should be out of the question. And asking for even more levy money would be an insult to taxpayers. I say let the state take over the finances AND the education. They can't possibly do worse than the homegrown folks running the show.

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3Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Education and the ability to think is what separates us from the animal world . Perhaps home life is negating everything that the schools teach . The children need to be taught in such a fashion that the fervor carries over from the school to the home . It is sad that the passion for thinking is dying off.

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4EWandF(24 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Leonardo...there have been no raises for nearly 7 years!!! Get the facts. Then try to teach in an inner city school for a week.

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5UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

FIRE her already. She can't do the job and they even give her more money for not doing it? The school board should FIRE her right now. The Y-town kids deserve a better leader then her. Y-town is the laughing stock of the state after this dismall failed report card.

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6aeparish(669 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

"Webb said student disabilities and poverty are negative factors when it comes to educational performance. Nearly 20 percent of Youngstown’s 7,000 students are special-needs children, and the poverty rate is pushing 90 percent, she said."

So it's negative to have special-needs students in your school district?

Wendy Webb, get off your high horse. You're the superintendent of YOUNGSTOWN City Schools, afterall. Which, judging by the school report cards, isn't much of an honor.

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7UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

The more I think about it, the school board should meet Wendy at her office door this morning with a box, tell her to put her personal possessions in it, and walk her out the building. She is as useless as a teat on a bore hog. She hasn't a clue what to do to improve education in Y-town schools. Get her fired and gone!!!!

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8Attis(855 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

If this were Afghanistan or Iraq, we would pour billions of dollars into Youngstown to fight the terrorism of ignorance. Make no mistake about it, the terrorism of ignorance threatens the future of our society far more than any other form. Education is the first line of defense.

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9boardmanneedschange(364 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Wendy Webb is just one more cancer on the ailing body that is Youngstown. OVERPAID! She is an example of the plunderers who come to Youngstown and blow smoke until their high salary is agreed upon, then do nothing but point out the reasons why Youngstown sucks so bad. Those who can't perform in thriving cities always prey upon the weak cities for their cushion jobs because no one else wants to do it. Anyone with a bachelor's degree and the art of BS'ing can talk these Youngstown idiots who are so starved for ideas into hiring them. If you can do well and make mayor Jay look good, you're hired!!!!! If you screw up and take the bad press of Mayor Jay that will work too!!!!! OVERPAID! She is an example of someone the citizens of Youngstown should pack up in a bus and send her to another town. Its time to bring the "None of the above" option to the ballots of Youngstown. so they don't have to settle for someone willing to try the job as opposed to someone who can to do the job.

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10airforcee1987(4 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

No one should be surprised at these findings. 100% of the blame should be directed at the PARENTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The majority of the kids that are attending school now come from the most dysfunctional homes....on the planet!!!! Headed by parents that have absolutely no cllue as how to properly raise their kids. Most young parents instead are being "buddies"..instead of parents. It amazes me how mmany kids today...HAVE NOT grasped the basics....but they know every single word...in the latest rap song!!!! If you listen to how some of theses kids talk today...you would think you were in a third world country. Then again...thats because their own parents cannot "talk" either. EDUCATION starts in the H-O-M-E....first. If parents ARE NOT ready to leead by example...then they should take the kid and the birth certificate...and return to the hospital where the child was born...and tell the doctor..."I'm retuning this kid...and I want a refund".

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11DoctorGonzo(728 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

It doesn't matter who runs the Youngstown schools, as mentioned earlier. The atmosphere and environment are hardly appropriate for learning. It has nothing to do with resources or funding. Those are secondary issues.
If you are born into poverty, without a father, surrounded by uneducated people who have no sense of achievment, what chance do you have? The whole cycle is a joke and there is no one to blame more than the people who reproduce into this cycle themselves.

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12Attis(855 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Don't blame the victims, folks. Poverty is not caused by the poor, and extreme/enduring/grinding poverty is at the root of the collapse of education and family in Youngstown. And the War on Poverty has, today, just lost one of its greatest warriors in the last Kennedy. Things are not looking good.

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13Education_Voter(828 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

First of all, to be factual: Boardmanneedschange, Wendy Webb is not one of those "plunderers who come to Youngstown and blow smoke until their high salary is agreed upon, then do nothing". She is a native of Youngstown, and the descendent of a pioneer family.

She does need to be accountable, though, for part of the failure of the system. However, Leonardo is correct. State policies have tied her hands behind her back, then asked her to build.

AE PARISH, This is important. Wendy Webb does not hate or discriminate against special needs students. The simple fact is that No Child Left Behind required that they take the same tests as the regular kids and that their scores be counted. It is true that Youngstown serves many more special needs students than other districts. One reason is that the voucher schools and open enrollment schools that skimmed off other students refused special needs students of any kind, even students taking speech. If you want to accuse someone of discriminating against special needs students, go there.

But the number of special needs students is also tied to the realities of economic conditions in Youngstown. The truth is that a good number of the special needs students are children of former special needs students. Because they have a low income, they find housing in the city.

All that said, I still felt nauseated when I saw the scores because I know how hard their teachers worked to improve them. It is just more bad policy to refuse to pay these teachers an equal salary to their peers in suburban districts.

Teaching in urban districts requires a special set of qualities including fortitude, talent, openess, and dedication. Reducing pay even further (they have had a four year pay freeze) will drive talented teachers to other, easier districts. As a matter of self respect, it is one thing to take on a difficult job, and another to accept semi-annual brow-beatings while you do it.

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14boardmanneedschange(364 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I could care less if her descendents came over on the Mayflower, she is plundering the city of Youngstown for more than she is worth. WAAAAAYYY MORE. That only leads me to the fact that if she is a proud Youngstownite, She should know that the city is in financial ruins. she should be so proud of the job she's doing. Making the state come in to give a tutorial on how she should do her job. What a joke of a position she holds. Let the state take it over and show her the door.

To save money and see who really wants to learn, keep one elementary, one middle , and one high school open in the city of Youngstown, and open the suburban schools to those who are willing to make the trip. I'm sure the burbs can get some Gov't assistance to accept inner city kids into their better schools. Then the ones who have parents who want them to learn how to do more than have babies for Goverment money will get actual educations instead of the faux education that even Youngstown can't afford.

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15OSUBuck16(12 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I personally know a 30+ year elementary teaching veteran at one of the Youngstown city schools. Listening to the stories of her interactions with parents is appalling. If parents are notified for any reason (assignments not done as an example), parents often put the fault onto the teacher and place no accountability on the student. In other words, teachers generally can't win with parents and there is a clear gap between home and school. What is really sad is that most kids are eager to learn and can learn effectively in one on one scenarios. However, the lack of socialization skills from home and inability to learn within a group setting really cripples the effectiveness of the classroom.

As a quick anecdote, I was speaking with a Cleveland 2nd grade teacher last year. She had told me that one of her female students had packed her Polly Pocket hand purse full of weed and was distributing it to classmates. Now, I'm not sure how a school system or a teacher is supposed to succeed with children like that.

Finally, for anyone interested in staying in this weekend and renting a DVD, I would recommend renting The Wire, specifically season 4 because it pertains to this topic. Although the show is fiction, some of the plot lines are based in fact as it was written by former Baltimore police officers. Anyways, season 4 of the show highlights the school system and creates food for thought on all the interplays throughout society. (PS-The other seaons are all great as well)

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16Ytownnative(1008 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I noticed how she immediately shifts the blame to everything but her. So I'm guessing if parents are poor the kids are unable to learn? and we have 1400 special needs children in the school district? thats seems a bit high.

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17TheLostPatrol(754 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Revamp the entire School District High School Curriculum specifically to the needs of the District to better reflect the clientele:
Instead of Music I & II, go with
Car Speaker Installation I & II.
Instead of Writing I, II, III, & IV, go with
Text Messaging I, II, III, & IV.
Instead if Literature I & II, go with
Rap I, II, and Advanced Rap for an Honors Class.
Instead of Math I, II, & III, go with
Basic Calculator I, II, & III,
How to Figure Out Bail Amounts I & II, and Advanced Drug Scale Reading for Honors Class.
Instead of Reading I, II, III, & IV, go with Understanding How to Get the Most Out of My OHIOPass Card I & I!.
Instead of Science I & II, go with
Understanding the Time Duration of a Full-Term Pregnancy I & II,
Instead of Physics I & II, go with
How Come This Hat Don't Fall Off My Head When Its On Sideways I & II,
and How Much Bling Can I Wear on My Body Before I end Up in a Supercenter Scooter I & II.
You couple this with serving a quarter-pounder with a large fry, and super-sized soft drink in the lunch line and you've got perfect attendance. That "2" will jump to a "4" in no time. Unfortunately, all the City School System is to the child is a full-time Babysitting Service for the parent.

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18Education_Voter(828 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Ytownnative, I refer you to my earlier post on the reasons for the high special education population in Youngstown.

boardmanneedschange, Who do you think is blocking the kind of change in schools that you suggested? It is your own township, and other townships like Canfield and Poland.

Most of the other school districts in the area do accept open enrollment pupils. The next step though is to insist they stop cherrypicking the best students, and start accepting some special needs students. That will happen right after pigs fly.

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19boardmanneedschange(364 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Question: Does anyone here think that Wendy Webb is worth $122,500.00 Per year?

Question: Are you all aware that the 17 certificated Youngstown schools employees make a total of $1,270,920.00 combined?

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20justthefacts(18 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Native...From what I understand, having your child classified as special needs increases your monthly assistance payment. This is a desirable and profitable classification.

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21jr99(88 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

LostPatrol, you hit the nail on the head!! This score isn't the fault of the school system. The blame falls squarely on the kids and their parents (and I use the term "parents" very, very loosely).

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22Ytownnative(1008 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Of course its always the parents fault. I guess there isnt a good parent in youngstown. Its just about impossible to get suspended from school in youngstown so the students that dont want to be there and dont want to learn are kept there anyway so the school gets more money. Get rid of those that are the troublemakers and dont want to learn I bet the scores go way up.

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23boardmanneedschange(364 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Native,
You realize that blaming other townships for cherrypicking the best students is the most idiotic thing you have typed today right? Suburban schools don't have to do anything to help you. You categorize special needs students left and right, when the fact is that they don't get educated correctly in your system for many reasons, from bad home life, to lack of funding, to poor hires as teachers because you spend all your money on outrageous administration salaries. Then they get pushed through the Youngstown education system and you categorize them as special needs because they don't test well. Perhaps because they are in ninth grade with a reading level of a sixth grader.You dug your own hole with your crazazy spending and lack of common sense. Its only going to get worse in Youngstown. The only help you should ask for now is for the state to come in and revamp your entire system.

I am of the mindset that your entire school system should be shut down and split up between the burbs, so don't rip on me. I am all for kids of all backgrounds to have the chance at a good education, and if I have to pay a little more to make sure we don't have morons like the ones who run Youngstown Schools then so be it. Its a small price to pay. The current Youngstown City School system doesn't deserve to educate children in Youngstown, that only furthers their lack of a chance in the real world.

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24boardmanneedschange(364 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

oops I meant for that comment to be directed to education voter. my bad.

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25Education_Voter(828 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Now, this is going to really horrify you, Boardman. Getting qualified for special needs is a long process in any school. But Youngstown takes special precautions to qualify as few students as possible.

However, some parents realize that if they move to a suburban school district, the whole process can be accelerated and they can return with an IEP that must be honored for 3 years.

I'm not trying to defend anyone, just sharing the situation. I'm glad you agree with me about dividing the kids into suburban districts. Few suburbanites agree with me, but in school districts where the number of students in poverty is kept below 30%, there is more success.

There are plenty of good parents and students in Youngstown schools. There are also plenty of students with good scores. This score report is not an average of students' scores. It is a count of the percentage of students who reached a certain score. The "No Child Left Behind" law specifies that the percentage required to "meet the standard" be raised until 100% of the kids get that score. Right now it is around 75% of kids that must meet the score. So remember, in some schools 70% of students met the required score, but the school does not make the standard.

Among those 70% or 50% or 40% of students who passed, depending on the school, there are students who got "Advanced" and "Accelerated" scores.

So it's not every parent's fault. But it's some parent's fault. And sometimes they are just not aware of the mistakes they are making. For example, you should avoid excessive moving of your child from school to school. Putting him in one charter school, then the public school, then another charter school, to the point that he has been in 5 schools in 6 years is harmful to academic achievement.

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26planforthebest(53 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Minimums have a way of becoming maximums. When you set minimum expectations for what children should learn, via cirriculums and universal tests, school districts teach those minimums and nothing else. The best way to improve schools is to let the people of the community have a say in what is taught and how it is taught. We're all paying for it, but politicians are exclusively deciding what and how our children learning. Politicians that don't know our children or care about anything but test scores. Is that really how we want to run our school systems?

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27Education_Voter(828 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I don't think I made my last post clear. In short, there are more special education students in Youngstown than the ones we have counted. They are in regular classes because they have not been identified or their parents have refused services.

You have a point planforthebest. In systems where kids are doing well on this test, they are still subjected to weeks of test prep, because their districts cannot afford to drop down a ranking.

It gets harder and harder to stay at a ranking as the percentage of students required to pass the test continues to rise to 100%.

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28EricLW(66 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Is it any wonder we are Second behind warren of a 16.5% unemployment rate???????? I think we should ban all FOOT BALL and Sports to all the kids that can't make the grade. Don't have high enough grades? Being a C+ or above average, then you don't get to be on the team. Period! I think this area needs to wake up and start putting more money in the 3 R's then into sports. Maybe then we would see some improvement?

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29standup4ytown(20 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

It all starts at the top. Wendy Webb has out stayed her welcome as the face Youngstown City Schools. Take her salary, along with the 3 or 4 "Assistant. Superintendents" and use that money to do what it takes to get these kids educated. What does this administration expect from the teachers? Is it enough? Obviously, NO! Yea, the problem is with home life too, BUT once they are in the classroom it is time to start teaching! This is just another black eye for this city.

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30justthefacts(18 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

These children who don't listen at home, or to the police or other authority figures are going to do so in the classroom?

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31Search4Answers(718 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

planforthebest, I like your thinking... there is a reason we have school boards and superintendents... use them and demand results.

SpecialEd_Voter, I think your focus on special needs is throwing off where you believe priorities should be placed in schools.

I've taken the OGT, the test is a joke (atleast when I took it a couple years ago)... I don't understand how someone conscious could not pass it, but people find a way. Teachers end up teaching the test, if they taught the skills that are tested better they wouldn't have to worry about the test.

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32standup4ytown(20 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

justthefacts...those are not the kids who show up in the classroom. If there are bodies in the classroom they can be taught SOMETHING! Time to take a harg line / old school approach to teaching the kids who show up for class.

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33justthefacts(18 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I am 100 percent in favor of an old school approach. That also means that the teachers need backing from the administration as well as support from the parents. I stayed out of trouble when I went to school because I knew that if I got into trouble at school, I would get it twice as bad at home. When teachers do not have this support, the kids know they hold the power and the hard line methods fall short. Back then teachers didn't listen to their students. They taught and it was up to us to learn. If we didn't our parents helped, got us help or we failed. No excuses!

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34hope4all(1 comment)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I spent 31years teaching in Yo. Schools and I can tell you first hand the bottom line is the family. Are there "bad" teachers, of course there are just like there are bad cops, bad judges etc. etc. etc. But most are hard working individuals who genuinely love and care about their students. Many of the homes these kids come from are disasters. Some don't even have their BASIC needs met like food, clothing and shelter which is why schools are now expected to not only teach them, but provide food, clothing and shelter. Some of these kids are drug/alcohol babies and have absolute blocks when it comes to learning. These kids come with multiple diagnoses that require the school to address. Let's see... there's ADD, ADHD, Bipolar, Reactive Attachment Disorder, Autism, Aspergers, OCD, Selective Mutism, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and on and on and on. Then there's the hundreds of kids that are "supposedly" being home schooled. What a joke that's become. Then when the parent is tired of them being at home they send back so far behind it's ridiculous. It's a sign of the times, folks. Teen pregancy, single moms, no dads, drugs and alcohol, child abuse/neglect, poverty, video games, tv, and complete chaos and confusion in many of these homes. And we expect these kids to be able to learn when they get to school. Hang in there Y-town teachers. I'd like to see the state and all the other critics come in and do your job. Their next stop would be at the FUNNY FARM!!!!

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35Ytownnative(1008 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Where did Dr Webb get the 90% poverty rating? I know its not that high.

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36Viewpoint(89 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

So far there has been a lot of criticism but little in the way of constructive suggestion expressed on this topic.

Perhaps a very well devised plan should be formulated, then a request to the State to allow the school system to engage in a three year turn around project. This project would require a leap of faith by the State, but since nothing has effectively worked to this point, it might be a worthy gamble. The state would have to continue funding the schools as they have in the past, but all requirements to meet mandated test standards would be halted. Now instead of teaching to "the test", teachers can return to the basics of education.

Several other things have to happen as well: 1.) the schools must be segregated by sex, no co-ed classes. 2.) all students will wear a uniform, white shirt and tie, jeans or tan slacks WITH a BELT at proper height, black hard soled shoes and socks. No jewelry, no lipsticks, no ear rings, just the natural child in modest uniform dress. Next, we feed every child breakfast and lunch, nutritional foods not junk food. No snack items or soda machines anywhere in sight. No gum permitted in the building. Get caught smoking on the grounds, and the parent(s) get a 24 hour stay in the city lock-up. This is going to take a very big effort on ALL of the city's resources to have an effect.

Sports are out, intramurals are out, band is out, gym is out. Those items should only be available to C+ students and then only on a pay to play basis as extra curricular activities. If this school system recovers some reasonable sense of normality, then and only then should those items be considered for inclusion.

Parents must become accountable for their children. If they fail to send children to school, then the children should be removed from the household. Perhaps dormitories need to be established and staffed by first year education degreed graduates. Keep the ratio close like 6-1 and pay them well for their services, perhaps bill the family for part of the money, or arrange to have public assistance money be redirected from the home to the dormitory.

I could continue this for hours, I might be utopian in my opinion, but why not think outside the box? It surely can't be any worse than the catastrophe we are now enduring. Your comments?? Be constructive and leave the vitriolic diatribe for another topic.

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37Search4Answers(718 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Well Viewpoint, I think you effectively concluded how to make your high school experience miserable. I would argue that these kids are 17 and typical kids. They aren't training for Russian military service. The true problem is the parents.

I think non coed high school would be terrible and would completely ruin the good parts of high school. I couldn't remain focused in that type of environment you laid out, I would be thinking of how to escape what you term as school and what I term as prison.

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38Education_Voter(828 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Viewpoint,
The state and Youngstown schools are working on such a plan, although they may not include all of your ideas and the tests will remain.

Search, be happy you took the earlier version of the OGT. Yes, it got harder. However, these grade level tests at the elementary level are more difficult as well. Because the OGT was supposed to cover all the knowledge gained in 12 years, it couldn't go into depth about subjects. The yearly tests are more detailed and ask more questions about a subject. They include essay questions for each subject, which in the past, was not a part of the OGT.

As for my concern with Special Education: Teachers address the needs of the students in their classes. If those students are special education students, they need to be a concern.

Don't you think it's kind of silly to assign a student to special education for cognitive disabilities, then give him the same test as the Gifted kids who are assigned to honors classes? This is what "No Child Left Behind" demands.

The idea is that somehow the school will raise the disabled student's achievements to that of the honor student. And if that does not happen, the school has "cheated" the disabled student of something he was supposed to get.

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39Viewpoint(89 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

They are anything BUT typical kids. They are failing miserably in education and most certainly will also fail in life if something isn't done to turn it around. They are not in training for any military service currently because the military has far better material to choose from elsewhere.

When a student spends a huge part of his school day trying to impress a member of the opposite sex, that student is not paying attention to lessons. Walking around playing peacock all day isn't my idea of a serious student. Dates will continue after school, just the diversion of attention within the classes will cease. I didn't propose that they be restrained from contact with the opposite sex, just let it wait until after school.

Perhaps they would focus much more attentively in the environment I describe than you can envision. Maybe learning personal discipline in school might just keep them out of the "real" prison system later in life.

I agree with you that the root of this problem is primarily the parents, but we don't have them in our charge during school hours do we? It is their children that the school system is trying to educate, change, and for some save from a lifetime of failure.

There are many students in the Youngstown schools that are eager to learn, receptive to teaching, and are wishing to succeed, but they are being shortchanged by the actions of the others in the classrooms that detract from the education process.

Maybe Obama is right......it is time for a change.

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40TB(1167 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

They already did that with Alpha and Athena and it didn't work. (I think those were the names.) Discipline is often cited, as is the old school approach, when it's clear that those aren't best practices based in research. A return to the past isn't necessarily the best idea (because these kinds of measures like state report cards, OGTs, etc. didn't exist.)

This quote
"Nearly 20 percent of Youngstown’s 7,000 students are special-needs children, and the poverty rate is pushing 90 percent, she said."
is the key to the entire problem in Youngstown, Warren, and just about any other urban district. (Rural districts are seeing some of this as well.)

1 in 5 kids walking into the school is a special needs child. Knowing the identification system, that number could probably be higher.
8 or 9 kids in every 10 is coming from poverty.
In a classroom of thirty kids, 6 will have special needs and 24-27 will be from poverty. Those numbers are insane. Combating those numbers with the current levels of staffing, etc. is impossible.

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41Search4Answers(718 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Education Voter, I think it's silly to set different standards for different people. The test standards should be set at a level that would justify a high school diploma, no more, no less. I kinda just felt like the OGT was a waste of the state's money and a waste of the student's time when they could be learning. They should just pay for students to take the SAT and add a history section.

Viewpoint, I agree with you that there are many people willing to learn. And my point of them being typical kids is that they have been shaped by their parents and enviroment. If they were in a different atmosphere at home there wouldn't be these problems. I believe in discipline but I don't think there should be such a drastic of a change as to make their lives more unpleasant than they already are. There is more to high school other than just the education you get from a text book.

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42Ytownnative(1008 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Look at what happened at GM. Rick Wagoner was the first to go. YCS should do the same.

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43TB(1167 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

and look how well they've bounced back! errr.....

the problems in the schools directly correlate to societal problems. it's not a vacuum.

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44valleyred(1093 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

FIRE WENDY WEBB.
She is a DISGRACE!

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45steelerman09(111 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I like the headline: "Youngstown falls to worst in the state". When was it anything other than worst in the state. Wendy Webb is the biggest joke of an administrator I have ever seen, so is this really that big of a suprise to anyone???

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46palbubba(664 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

More money for failure that may be the answer(Ha Ha) All non-educational activities should be eliminated until academics improve greatly. Wendy Webb should be fired and the failed scool board voted out of office.

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47Ytownnative(1008 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Actually the school board should be removed immediately dont wait until the next election

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48VINDYAK(1799 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

A couple of thousand years ago our world was filled with horrible lifestyles, murdering leaders, a society declining into animalistic behavior, and when it became too much to bear any further, God stepped in and a religion began.

Religion provided people with hope, but also with Commandments to follow. Our society today is forgetting religion, replacing it with self-serving needs and is losing its grasp on what it is to be a good citizen, a good parent and a God fearing human being. Our children are suffering most.

If life in our cities does not turn around soon, we will see a return to those evil years before God, and its not going to be pretty. Those with power will over-run us. We will have no one to blame but ourselves.

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49redvert(2042 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

"when nothing changes, nothing changes"

"When you keep doing the same things over and over, you cannot expect the results to change"

I know, these are just old cliche's but you can't argue that they do apply here. Of course some might argue the fact but that is another part of the problem.

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50ANTIYOUNGSTOWN(233 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

It all starts in the home. What would anybody expect when most Youngstown children come from single parent homes, homes where the parents are too young, unattentive, worried more about their happiness or have no moral base to govern their lives.

Technologically we have made great strides in the last 50 yrs. Socially, we have regressed 1,000.

Bring back a time where God was first, family second, work third, and all else fell in line. You may not always be happy but you provided a stable life for those who counted. Your children.

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51LoveTheCity(14 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I respect everyone comments from all different angles. We need to work together and create a solution. Youngstown is the heart beat of the Valley, if the student in Youngstown continue to fail this will effect us all in some form or fashion.

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52copswife(25 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

The headline in the paper made me sick to my stomach. Both of my kids attend youngstown city schools. They both have made honor roll all of their years in school. I will stress that every teacher my daughter had i loved. They were great teachers, committed to the children, careing. My son had great teachers up until this past year. I did not care for her as a person or as a teacher. But she got the job done and that is all i wanted.Your goign to have your good and maybe not so good teachers. I feel my children have done so well not only because of their teachers, but because of my husband and myself. When homework was brought home i sat at the table no matter how long it took until every bit of work was done and i knew he understood what ever mistakes he may have made. Over the summer twice a week my kids do reading,math, ect... I do believe the parents must get their children prepared. I work in my childrens school during lunch iam very involved so i am there alot. I see alot of kids that are smart but just do not want to do the work listen to the teacher ,ect.. A teacher can only do so much. I think instead of rebuilding all of these new schools they could have used the money for the childrens education. There should be no fingers being pointed. Is there somthing different Wendy Webb could be doing, maybe. So should the parents of the kids that are failing, the children themselves, and maybe the teachers could look at every child differently. Some kids may need more help then others, don't just shove them aside try taking the extra time to help them. I know that is easier said then done. But i have seen some kids just shoved aside because of their behavior. Alot of teachers lost their jobs kids are being shifted from school to school. Whe is it going to stop. Kids need consistinse in their lives. Since my kids have been at their school we have had four different principles. Why? Somthing needs to change and i think the change should come from evryone not just one person.

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53Viewpoint(89 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Punctuation, capitalization, paragraph construction, spelling................alas, it seems that the school system is at the very least in the second generation of failure.

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54Education_Voter(828 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Oh gosh! Viewpoint, you need a wider perspective. Listen to her words.

Thanks for your insights, copswife.

Don't worry about the building program. It did not take money away from instructional programs. The state made that money available for one purpose, and the districts that were eligible for it early in the process were lucky.

Struthers, Campbell, and other districts also benefitted from the program.

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55freudslip(2 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

There is a reason that Y-Town has such a high level of failure when it comes to public education, but it is a much bigger issue than blaming the Superintendent -- in fact, removing the Superintendent is akin to a football team firing the coach when a team has a losing season. This usually makes the problem worse. If the board of education, community members, and teacher's union would work collaboratively with Dr. Webb to realize her vision for YCSD, many of the list of gripes here could be remedied. Instead of being reactive, Y-Town could be proactive in moving the district forward. This is not a political issue, but rather a change issue. The Valley has been so resistant to change for so many years, that many people would rather live in poverty and a cycle of failure while holding on to the glory days than actually enter the 21st. Century. Look to the future and stop looking at the past - it's over - the steel mills are gone, the jobs are gone, and many of the people are gone - get on board with a new vision and the community will go places!

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56LieDetector(27 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

No suprises here!!!! You get what you ask for when you do not put the best canidate in a position and instead let nepotism or affirmative action be your guideline. Not only should she be fired....she should return a large portion of her salary. Also dont let the ones on the board higher than her off the hook. Its their responsibility to make sure the people below them are doing their job......mr catale????

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57boardmanneedschange(364 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Hey Dr Webb...I mean Freudslip....
Pack your things because regardless of what you or your supporters say, you arent working hard enough to earn your money.

The coach gets fired because it sends a message. If you can't fix the problem, you are the part of the problem. A monkey could be hired and keep the school system in last place....would we pay a monkey 122 grand a year? Someone with a real solution will replace you now. I mean, when you are in last place there is nowhere to go but up right? Well, Dr. Webb....I mean, Freudslip....It was on your watch that Youngstown Schools dropped to the worst. Mind you, It wasn't a far fall, but it happened. You and your vision have improved nothing. NEXT!!!!!!!!!!!

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58Ytownnative(1008 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

"Nearly 20 percent of Youngstown’s 7,000 students are special-needs children, and the poverty rate is pushing 90 percent, she said."

With mahoning county only having 20.1 % of children 0-17 living in poverty how can YCS have 90%. We shipping them in from somewhere? Now the good doctor with her PhD may be referring to economically disadvantaged, which was quoted in the school report card, is 185% of federal poverty levels

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59TB(1167 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Inner city schools typically see those numbers. You're out of touch. Even if they are slightly inflated, the number will hover above 75%. If you understood the demographics of the county, you'd also understand how the percentage in the city could be so dramatically different than the county, due to the suburbs.

"Punctuation, capitalization, paragraph construction, spelling................alas, it seems that the school system is at the very least in the second generation of failure."

Those in glass houses shouldn't cast stones. Your first phrase features an improper use of punctuation. An ellipsis only has three periods. Seems like you should take a bit more care in your own posting if you're going to point out the faults in others' posts.

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60Ianacek(882 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

DR Webb should resign immediately & clear a space for new ideas . She will never be good at implementing new ideas imposed on her from above & Youngstown deserves better than to keep wearing the same tired "excuses" year after year .
Youngstown has a successful university & there are plenty of successful schools elsewhere in the State ; so there are plenty of role models available .
Youngstown Schools shouldn't be aiming for 4/30 . They should be aiming for Excellence . The inability of the community to educate its young for independence in the 21st century is its single biggest challenge . Youngstown has to find a way or die .

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61Education_Voter(828 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

ytownnative,
Poverty is not distributed evenly across school districts in Mahoning County. That is why when you take the percentage of poverty in the whole county, it is less than in Y-town, and more than is in Canfield.

The situation gets worse when districts like
Austintown are allowed to sift through the students who are accepted for open enrollment. This year they will take students from Youngstown who are almost exclusively middle class. That will drive the percentage of impoverished kids in the Youngstown district higher yet.

These numbers are from the Ohio Department of Education CUPP Report. The percentage is the percentage of impoverished students:
Canfield 6%
Poland 12%
Western Reserve 18%
South Range 20%
Boardman 28%
Lowellville 32%
Austintown 33%
Sebring 46%
Campbell 74%
Youngstown 87%

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62Westsider(219 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Being poor is no excuse for devaluing education. If you want to see scores improve in Youngstown, radical change must be made. I support the earlier post about setting up residence halls for children who lack the basic necessities of food, clothing and shelter and have parents (or a parent) who is too immature, an addict, uneducated or just plain lazy to provide those things for their children. I am tired of hearing about the "achievement gap" referring almost exclusively to underrepresented students. The achievement gap will be present wherever support for education is lacking in the home environment.

Finally, the quality of candidates for the board of education is totally unacceptable for a district this size. It is time to revamp the board of education and reduce it from the present seven members to five and have them appointed by the mayor rather than running for office. Changing the board members is the only way to change the leadership - as both the superintendent and the treasurer are the only employees who serve at the pleasure of the board of education. Based on the feedback provided on this site - public sentiment is against the superintendent continuing in a role to which she should never have been appointed.

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63Ytownnative(1008 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

you are confusing poverty with economically disadvantaged (Which is 185% of the federal poverty rating). The 90% is economically disadvantaged. The terms are not interchangable

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64Ytownnative(1008 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

a family of five living in poverty makes $25,790 or less

an economically disadvantaged family of five makes $47,711 or less

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65Education_Voter(828 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

YtownNative
This is a different report. The CUPP report listed the percent as "poverty", and if you notice, the numbers are different than the ones listed as "economically disadvantaged".

Look up Canfield, and you will see. Their economically disadvantaged rate is twice as high (still small compared to other districts).

Look, I don't think you need to take this as a personal insult against your district. It's better to look at it so we can deal with it.

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66Education_Voter(828 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Westsider,
There have to be less expensive options than the one you propose about boarding students.

God knows that we don't want to get into a situation of running an orphanage where we would be seen like the administrators in "Annie" or "Oliver".

We have to hear about the achievement gap as long as "No Child Left Behind" is in effect. Remember that the year before last, Boardman was knocked down a ranking because their minority achievement didn't match general student achievement. So there you are. The demand is a reality.

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67Ytownnative(1008 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Why does struthers have "poverty" of 60% yet met 25 of 30.

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68Education_Voter(828 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Well that's interesting. I didn't look them up. The CUPP Report has the number closer to 59%, but close enough. It also says they have 13% minority students, so maybe they didn't have to account for achievement of groups.

I don't know where you are going with this. Do you want to deny that poverty and high minority populations are not a factor?

Are you aware that Struthers is one of the main open enrollment districts segregating our students? Do you know that when they accept students they refuse any student who has had any kind of special services for 3 years, including speech?

I don't mind changing administration, materials, etc. in Youngstown, but let's not put blinders on.

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69Ytownnative(1008 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I dont think its the poverty thing and I dont think it racial I think the administration bends over backwards to keep kids in school that don't want to be there. They disrupt any efforts by the teachers to educate the students that want to be there. They need to get rid of the bad rubbish then the scores will improve.

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70Education_Voter(828 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I committed the dread double-negative in my last post! I meant, "Do you want to deny that poverty and high minority populations are a factor?"

Apparently, Ytownnative does deny this. It's a free country. But we've talked about this before: all of the schools at the bottom of the rankings have high poverty. Nine out of ten have high minority populations.

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71TB(1167 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

High poverty has much more of an impact.

"They need to get rid of the bad rubbish then the scores will improve."

If it were that simple, don't you think they'd do it already? ALL of those scores count. EVERY kid's counts.

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72ytownLADY79(26 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Westsider-

In an earlier post you mentioned "the quality of candidates for the board of education." What are the candidates’ qualifications, or lack thereof? Why hasn’t anyone screamed for the resignation of the superintendent and/or the school board? The incumbents in the race have some real nerve. How long have they been there? Why hasn’t the Vindy begun to the race more? It is unrealistic to discuss the state appointing a board. Nonetheless, we need to start talking about it. I want answers!

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73Viewpoint(89 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Here is what an equally troubled school is doing. Look at the bottom of the page for Gibb High School.

http://www.tampabay.com/specials/publ...

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74freudslip(2 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Hey boardmanneedschange - Sorry to disappoint you, but Dr. Webb does have supporters, although not many are showing up in this stream of comments, and I am not Dr. Webb -- I don't even live in OH, but do take an interest in Y-Town as someone who once lived in the great city that is no more. It is sad to see how talent has been skimmed from the district by surrounding areas. Some food for thought regarding poverty and low performing school districts can easily be found on the ODE website concerning the 10 lowest school districts in the state of OH -- all of them have very high rates of poverty:

District Performance Index Score
Youngstown 70.2
Dayton 70.8
Cleveland Metro 71.8
East Cleveland 73.8
Jefferson Township 75.4
Mansfield City 76.1
Warrensville Heights 76.5
Warren City 77.0
Springfield City 78.1
Lorain City 78.6

Less poverty = Higher achievement!

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75Education_Voter(828 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Here's a link to the complete article Viewpoint suggested:
http://www.tampabay.com/news/educatio...

Viewpoint, we have taken these steps, except for pepper spray. Our student dress more formally than the student in the picture.

Also, your idea of classes separated by gender is still followed at Alpha Middle School. The girls are on a different floor from the boys. By the way, this is one thing that Wendy Webb and you agree on.

I just can't believe that considering the numbers of students that Struthers and Lowellville have taken out of Youngstown, that Struthers enrollment of Black students is 5% and Lowellville's is too small to count. Austintown is doing this, as well as McDonald.

This is making our schools more segregated than they were before the civil rights movement began. It's ridiculous that these schools don't take all students that apply.

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76Education_Voter(828 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Sorry, I didn't mean that last sentence as it came out. I mean that they should take first come - first served until they are filled to the quota they set.

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77joebag09(234 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I don't know what the answer is.......I used to live near Wilson High School and I saw what many of these students acted like, going to and coming from school. I didn't want my children exposed to these thugs and I moved! Apparently it hasn't gotten any better.

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78Education_Voter(828 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Well, you might have something there.
I was looking at Y-towns scores compared to the scores of the state as a whole, and other local districts. The Youngstown kids hold their own through 3rd and 4th grade, not that much below the average.

All over the state, scores drop in 5th grade, when a whole slew of higher level thinking skills is added, like algebraic expressions, graphing trends, etc.

But in other districts the scores rebound better over the middle school years to eighth grade.

So something changes in middle school. Maybe the students hit a ceiling of ability. But maybe they get more interested in out-of-school activities.
Or maybe it is something altogether different, but it happens in 5th grade.

(All over the state, OGT scores are higher than the younger kids' scores. I think going to the ACT is a good decision. The OGT doesn't seem to be much of a test.)

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79northsideart(110 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

How do you fail so miserably and keep your job? Unreal. And don't forget to vote for that winner Jay Williams. 4 more years!

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80northsideart(110 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

A relevant Barack Obama quote from an address to the NAACP:

"We have to say to our children, Yes, if you're African American, the odds of growing up amid crime and gangs are higher. Yes, if you live in a poor neighborhood, you will face challenges that someone in a wealthy suburb does not. But that's not a reason to get bad grades, that's not a reason to cut class, that's not a reason to give up on your education and drop out of school. No one has written your destiny for you. Your destiny is in your hands - and don't you forget that."

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/...

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81Ianacek(882 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Cheer up . There are 2 pieces of good news in this .

1
Being last placed means Youngstown's ranking won't go any lower .
2
Being the only school system in Academic Emergency , the team from Columbus will be able to give Youngstown undivided attention .

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82dreamcatcher52(140 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I don't think it's a matter of race or poverty. It's a matter of culture. Many poor children achieve at high levels because their culture values education and sees that as the way out of poverty. A culture of entitlement does not value education. They feel the world owes them and they don't need to work for anything, so education doesn't matter. It is not black or white or hispanic. Youngstown seems to have a large population of entitlement mentality people.

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83TB(1167 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

The statistics don't bear you out on that. The number one factor in predicting student academic success is socioeconomic status. The second is parental educational attainment.

Sorry, but you think wrong.

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84Ytownnative(1008 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

why are other school with 50%+ "poverty" rating scoring so much better the Youngstown?

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85TB(1167 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

A quick examination of large urban districts in Ohio shows that the scores aren't much better. They're all pretty much around the same results.

Youngstown hit 2 indicators. The performance index is 70.2.
Akron had 6 indicators and an index of 83. 5.
Canton hit 4 indicators and their index is 82.2.
Cincy hit 6 but had an index of 80.6.
Cleveland hit 3 and had an index of 71.8.
Columbus hit 6 and had an index of 80.4.
Dayton hit 2 and had an index of 70.8.
Toledo had 6 and an index of 81.0
Warren hit 3 and had an index of 77.

The point is that these districts are all essentially hitting or achieving the same results. There are no huge disparities between the indexes and indicators. The public gets the quick, easy examination that shows Ytown at the bottom with little or no explanation of what that actually means. Just trying to understand what AYP is and how it works is extremely complicated. These indexes are quick numbers that stand for something. What exactly?

The real story should be why the gap between urban districts and their neighboring suburbs exists. But that story requires too much research and too much in depth reporting to be seen outside of educational academic circles.

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86Education_Voter(828 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

There is a big difference in districts with 60% poverty and districts with 90% poverty. As a child, even by 1960's standards, my family would have fallen in or close to the poverty lines.

However, many of the children in my school were from more affluent families. My family was rich in supports like extended family and Church. We lived within walking distance of a library, nature center, and playground.

There was a sense of hope and opportunity, and competition in that school. My siblings and I couldn't compete in the clothes or toys category. But we sure could in academics and sports.

My siblings were driven to get what our classmates had. They gave us ideas about how to do it.

But the kids in these cities are becoming very isolated. Programs that meant to improve education only increased that isolation as vouchers, open enrollment, home schools, and charter schools separated students into groups.

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87Ytownnative(1008 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

They arguement Dr Webb had was the higher poverty the lower the school scores. If that was the case there would be a steady decline in scores as the poverty percentage increases across the board. Thats not the case.

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88dreamcatcher52(140 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

TB, what I meant was being poor doesn't mean you cannot achieve academically. Education Voter is an example of this. She says she was poor, but still managed to do well in school. She came from a culture that valued education and she saw it as a way to "get what our classmates had". The welfare state has produced too many who feel entitled to have what their classmates have without working for it. Why bother with school when you can still have nice things? And when your housing, food, medical care are paid for, you have money to buy the fancy shoes and cell phones. Yes, socioeconomic status and parent level of education predict school success. Most poor, uneducated people are on welfare and welfare breeds an entitlement mentality. But it's that mentality, not the poverty, that thwarts academic achievement.

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89TB(1167 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Your connection between education/poverty and an entitlement status is tenuous at best. It's definitely not backed by any research I've ever seen. It fits the point you'd like to make, but that doesn't make it true.

The connection between socioeconomic status/parental education and test scores is well documented.

If anything, I don't see the entitlement status as a hurdle to academic achievement. It's the lack of opportunity and expectation. Out of sight...out of mind, etc. Poor kids and people essentially don't count. They never really have. There's always a success story (Horatio Alger played a big part in our acceptance of this dream) but the facts and reality show overwhelmingly that people are more likely to stay at the same status socioeconomically and educationally as their parents, or to even regress. To me, that doesn't speak to the welfare state but a systemic problem.

Ytownnative missed the point entirely. Splitting hairs doesn't make your point. Look at the data I posted. All of those districts are essentially performing at the same level. That's no coincidence.

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90dreamcatcher52(140 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

What about children of immigrants? Many people came to this country and lacked anything beyond an elementary level education. Yet their children were able to rise to a higher level, because education was seen as a way out of poverty. Lack of expectation may be a hurdle, but even poor children have the opportunity for education if they want it. There are impoverished children in Youngstown schools who do achieve academically. The only difference between them and the ones who fail is effort and motivation. I've seen it firsthand every day for 30 years. I don't need to read any research.

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91Ytownnative(1008 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

ok if poverty is why schools score lower then a school with zero poverty should score well, high poverty should score bad. The facts show thats not the case. You pick 10-15 schools out of thousands in the state and say this is the norm. You havent even looked at enough of the facts to even come close to making an educated opinion. So what are the schools that are inbetween the high and low rates for poverty scoring? With your theory poverty goes up scores go down. Now the pesky facts that noone looks at dont support that assumption. But keep pulling numbers from who knows where and pick the ones that support your argument. You must be employed by the school board or a gov't employee

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92mighty1(12 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

It's a sad state of afairs..very sad indeed.

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93Ytownnative(1008 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Pro I think you hit the nail on the head. Keep the kid in school that doesnt want to be there so they can get the money. Thats what matters to the schools

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94Heartforkids(1 comment)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

"The spirit of anger can't exist in an atmosphere of prayer"--but, that's right..."no prayer allowed in schools". I challenge any hostile writer(s) to bring your feelings to the Lord, Jesus (If you don't know Him, I encourage you to ask Him into your heart...seriously). Let me say this. There are many excellent teachers in Youngstown (sure, some may be less than adequate, but such is the case even in the so-perceived "better" districts). I speak with knowledge that the majority of Youngstown teachers care unconditionally about their students. "God" may not be allowed to be taught "per-se", but the love of God, let me tell you, does flow from the hearts of many Y-town teachers. I know several genuine, praying Christian teachers (and many praying families) in Youngstown. We have been blessed...chosen...to teach here, to "plant seeds"; and, by the grace of God, one day these children will have become something amazing...because Mr. or Mrs. 'So-n-so' believed in them, or they had a mom or dad or grandmother who never stopped praying for them. No, the scores may not show now, but the reward may be harvested later. To Y-town students: MANY of us (teachers, parents, administrators) BELIEVE in you and the mighty plans that the Lord has for you--it's time to FOCUS, and through HIM, give it your ALL! Your lives have PURPOSE and VALUE.

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95Ytownnative(1008 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Ok heart now reality says we can't do that

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96city_dweller(193 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

We really don't know how well the children of immigrants did in school, especially in the Mahoning Valley. There was no method of keeping track, no annual school report card. And because of the strong steel and manufacturing industry, those children were able to walk from the classroom to the mill. Forty-plus years ago, college was considered a privilege for the wealthy sons (and maybe a few daughters) of white-collar workers, not a necessity for a living wage.

So in a way, yes, poverty made a difference back then as much as it does today. Poor kids just had more choices for decent work after high school. A big difference is that today, all high school graduates are expected to ready to enter college, not a factory. My mom graduated high school in the 70s without taking algebra, a foreign language, chemistry, or any other upper-division class. That is totally unacceptable today.

I'm not suggesting we return to those low expectations, but we also can't look at the past as some kind of educational utopia. Education served a different purpose then so it's not a fair basis of comparison for students' performance today.

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97YSUgrad99(200 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

yeah....at least we're the best at being the worst!

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98ohnose(16 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Youngstown gets worse in every aspect...If they didnt have the courts downtown and YSU what would exist??? a couple banks and a restaurant here and there, and the covelli centre...

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99TB(1167 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Thank you city_dweller. People like to compare the present to decades ago, but the times and conditions have changed.

Ytownnative, it's not simply me pulling numbers out of thin air. The correlation has been cited in numerous studies. You are uneducated on the topic. I'm not making any assumptions. You really don't know what you are talking about. Reading one article and making correlations that don't exist doesn't qualify you as an expert on the topic, nor do your feelings or your theories.

"The only difference between them and the ones who fail is effort and motivation. I've seen it firsthand every day for 30 years. I don't need to read any research."

If you're not going to believe what research and studies show, then there's no point in discussing anything with you. It must be nice to be so right. I have some firsthand experience as well, and while effort and motivation are prime factors, the problem isn't so black and white. If you've been around kids, then you should know about Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Until kids feel safe, sheltered, etc., they're never going to attain loftier goals.

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100Education_Voter(828 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Actually you don't have to pull numbers from the air. You can get them from the ODE website, and if you get a CUPP report in excel, sort the columns by scores or demographics.

While added factors like value-added points have changed the scores somewhat, the districts do line up by parent income, or housing starts. (The more new housing developments the better the scores.)
Districts in the middle in income are in the middle in scores.
It's the districts that don't follow this pattern that stand out.

This doesn't mean that education isn't influenced by other factors, just that these tests aren't.

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101TheLostPatrol(754 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Suggestion: Traficant's getting "out" in a couple of days and he'll be looking for a job, why not fire Webb and hire Jimbo. He'd be perfect for the job insituting discipline since he's been taking orders for the last eight years!

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102city_dweller(193 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

That greatest generation of white, European immigrants was not hobbled by Jim Crow laws and segregation in the early- and mid-20th century when they were busy building this country. They were able to attend the better schools and enroll in colleges, to move into suburbs and earn promotions -- unlike their black counterparts. Remember George Wallace standing on the steps of the University of Alabama refusing to allow TWO black students to enter? Many blacks could not even attend the universities their tax dollars supported -- and the leaders of those state agreed. Furthermore, Wallace served as governor until 1987, which shows how much support he had for his segregationist opinions.

White European immigrants built this country because no one else was allowed to. Period.

White immigrants had to endure poverty for one generation. For more than 100 years, blacks have seen generation after generation face the same hatred, discrimination and poverty. As a result of that discrimination, more white children today have parents who have college degrees, live in wealthier areas, and earn more money.

Yes, there needs to be more emphasis on personal responsibility in order to stop the cycle of poverty in many parts of the black community, and both Bill Cosby and President Obama are right to call for stressing education and family stability. But I pity the person who is so myopic as to believe the white race is without responsibility for the racial inequities that exist in this country today.

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103dreamcatcher52(140 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

ProAmerican,thanks, I think you at least got my point about immigrants. I was not saying education from decades ago was a utopia.I was saying having poor, uneducated immigrant parents didn't stop people from achieving. And I'm not talking about jobs in the mills.
I also think liberals don't like to admit that their "Great Society" is a massive failure. We have taken away the incentives to achieve from a vast part of our population.
Anyway, as I said, being poor, in and of itself, should not impede learning. I guess the real question is, if low socioeconomic status is the cause of low achievement, how do we solve the problem?

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104dreamcatcher52(140 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Well, the state is sending in a team of "experts", so let's see what they can do. You can't just throw in the towel.

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105TB(1167 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Expert advice on how to fix the problems is out there. There are many teacher groups who offer research based solutions. One expert, Ron Clark, just spoke in Warren.

Often times, the biggest hurdles to changing the status quo are financial and perceptual.

In regards to European immigrants, maybe the two of you touting their success need to examine the current economic climate. As was stated before, there are no mills to wander into anymore. Because the manufacturing sector has decayed, finding a job with even high school diploma is a tough task. If those immigrants were trying to enter the U.S. today, they'd hardly be welcomed with open arms and would have trouble finding work.

Eliminating generational poverty or at least providing a realistic way out would aid in raising the scores.

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106ytownLADY79(26 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Does anyone else love the picture of the board president that says "Not A Happy Camper?"

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107hellsbells(116 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

He's a 22 year old kid, who just graduated from college. I think he imagined this as an internship in politics.
Welcome to accountability!

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108dreamcatcher52(140 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Eliminating generational poverty or at least providing a realistic way out would aid in raising the scores.

How do we do this? Isn't an education the way out of poverty? But we can't convince them to work to get an education?

Also, why do you insist that it was so easy for those early immigrants? Everything I've read indicated they had to work pretty hard. Yes, there were opportunities but they had to take advantage of them. There are still opportunities today.

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109Ytownnative(1008 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Actually after doing some indepth research its not poverty that drives the numbers, its minorties.

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110ytownLADY79(26 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

hellsbells- well said! Accountability is probably the number one problem in the school district. Too bad for this kid, he gambled his political future on the Youngstown schools. Talk about going all in on a bluff! I doubt this will pan out well for him.

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111saysithowitiz(98 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

When are we going to start holding the parents accountable? Learning doesn't just take place at school, it takes place at home too. In fact I think it is absolutely necessary for parents to teach their kids respect and responsibility before they are able to learn anything at school.

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112Jake(112 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Sounds like students need a "private option" to provide competition to the failed single-educator government model. Only "the wealthy" can afford private school "choice" in the current system.

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113SouthSideScanner(12 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

LOL...is anyone really surprised by this...also has anyone been aware of the transportation situation this year? they're making the kids walk farther to there bus stops. why? even though the levy passed they still layed off about 10 drivers so they had to reduce certain routes. What are they going to do when the winter gets here? Now...this is someone telling me this when i called transportation to see what the hell the problem was. Understand that there are only a few people on the board that really care about Y-town kids while the rest only care about money. So...if they don't care about the kids walking far or getting to school safely then why would they care about the kids learning???

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114hellsbells(116 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Uhhh Jake, where have you been? We now pay tuition for Youngstown kids who want to attend Ursuline, Mooney, Youngstown Christian, Akiva, etc.

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115hellsbells(116 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I better mention: That tuition payment would be your Republican Governor's idea (Voinivich & Taft).

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116TB(1167 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

"Actually after doing some indepth research its not poverty that drives the numbers, its minorties"

This is a false statement. There's often an overlap, but the biggest predictors of student success are the student's socio-economic status and the educational attainment of the student's parents.

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117hellsbells(116 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Well, the number of minority groups in a district do affect the ranking. The rules of "No Child Left Behind" stipulate that each minority group must progress at the same rate as the majority group.

Districts with small minority group numbers do not have to account for those scores.

The groups are not all racially based, they include gender and special education groups.

So for districts that have many groups, all those groups must progress at a similar rate, and that does get tricky. Not that one group doesn't have the same ability (except special education), but that it's just taking a chance that for 1 test every group's scores will happen to show the same amount of growth.

It's undeniable that the year before last, Boardman was dropped down a ranking for exactly this reason. The minority group scores did not progress like the general scores.

Youngstown has gender groups, HIspanic, African American, White, Special Education, and maybe more.

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118hellsbells(116 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

So, you would complain about treatment of the steelworkers (Black men were steelworkers too) but blame the industry destruction on the USW and the EPA?

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119aljimi(42 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Here is another reason why Coitsville should be allowed to leave a school system that has been holding them hostage.Wendy Webb says the system can't afford to lose the money coming from this township so it can continue it's high standards.

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120TB(1167 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

I understand subgroups and AYP hellsbells. The data shows that minority status does have an effect, but is not the number one or two factor. Gains in closing the achievement gap have been made nationwide as well.

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