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Top job in Youngstown schools attracts interesting applicants



Published: Tue, August 17, 2010 @ 12:00 a.m.

We aren’t prepared to declare that the academically and fiscally challenged Youngstown City School District will find the ideal superintendent from the list of 31 applicants made public last week. But, we will say that there are some who appear to have the qualifications and experience to fill the top post.

It is encouraging that 17 of the hopefuls have doctoral degrees in education. It suggests that professional educators see potential in the troubled urban school district and are undeterred by the state designated academic and fiscal emergencies.

The screening process that has been established by the Youngstown City School Board, led by President Anthony Catale, should enable the most qualified to rise to the top. But it won’t only be the 25-member search committee formed to conduct the initial evaluations of the applicants or the school board that participate in the selection. The state Academic Distress Commission will play a major role. That’s a good thing considering the commission has developed a recovery plan for the school district that has been approved by state Superintendent of Public Instruction Deborah Delisle.

The goal is to replace Superintendent Dr. Wendy Webb, who is retiring on Jan. 1, with an individual who has worked in an urban school district with a large number of at-risk students, and who is familiar with state proficiency testing. Indeed, one of the issues that should be explored during the interview process is why some inner city children perform well in school, while others don’t. What are the social factors that affect learning and are those factors found in the city of Youngstown?

As we’ve said in the past, time is running out for the school district. With all the pressures on the state budget and with growing demands from legislators that students, especially in failing systems, be given the choice of going elsewhere, attention is being paid to what is occurring in Youngstown.

It’s very simple: Success is measured by how well students do on the state tests.

Implementation

The Academic Distress Commission’s recovery plan addresses all the issues that have contributed to the district’s failure, but implementation will depend on the superintendent and the school board.

Hence, the importance of finding the right candidate for the job.

Once the list of applicants is reduced by the screening committee, the school board will conduct interviews by telephone with those who make the cut.

Then, the finalists will be brought in for meetings with the board and for appearances at public forums. Residents will have the opportunity to hear from them and ask questions.

Finally, the distress commission will interview the finalists and must approve the board’s selection.

This process of filling the superintendent’s position is not only appropriate, but is necessary.

The children of the school district deserve every chance to succeed academically. It is the responsibility of the superintendent, the staff, the principals, teachers and the school board members to make that a reality.


Comments

11970mach1(1005 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

"Indeed, one of the issues that should be explored during the interview process is why some inner city children perform well in school, while others don’t. What are the social factors that affect learning and are those factors found in the city of Youngstown?"

You seriously can't figure that out on your own? You need to write an editorial seeking a commission to discover that? Good Lord.

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2Teacher12(27 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

what a joke, isn't it 1970mach1?! Let me spell it out for the writer of this editorial. Those who do well, parents are involved 99.9% of the time in their child's life. Those who do not do well 99.5% of the time, you never see the parents at conferences or IEP (individual education plan meeting for special education students) meetings. "If mom and dad don't care about me, no one does. So why should I do well?" is the thought of many.
IF it ever comes to closing down the city schools completely, were are all the students going to go? The state better come up with a way to track there progress and see its not the teachers fault for the failures. there is a saying, you can't make a race horse out of a "Zebra". It hold true here. Those who are cared about at home and lovingly encouraged at home will make something of themselves. Those who aren't generally continue to drain society.

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3palbubba(664 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Wow what an insightful editorial, if your head is in the sand. How about paying me a large amount of money and I'll explain to you what is making the city schools fail. It's pretty simple and most of it is already pointed out by 1970mach1 and Teacher12. The one other point that they missed is that most of the students who have parents that care no longer attend city schools. I believe liberals are champions for choice.

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4piak(508 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Whoever is put into the "top job", makes no difference. It will just result in the continuation of the same old liberal claptrap that passes for education "theory".

"Diversity" "inclusion" and other code words will continue to be used.

Best thing to do about the Superintendent's job? Hire who ever will work for the lowest salary. After all, the same old educational theories taught in our colleges will still be in play. Translation: no actual difference will be made and the same situation will continue. To shorten the process, perhaps the "short" straw wins might be applied.

Whatever!

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5CShaughnessy(3 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

With all this continous negativity on this site and in our area, why would things change? How about for once people have faith, give others a chance to make a difference, and look out for the less fortunate children in our community, they didn't pick the parents or the circumstances they live with! While things look gloomy, they can get better! To err is human!

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6TB(1167 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

"With all the pressures on the state budget and with growing demands from legislators that students, especially in failing systems, be given the choice of going elsewhere, attention is being paid to what is occurring in Youngstown.

It’s very simple: Success is measured by how well students do on the state tests. "

I think we should take the kids from Warren and Youngstown and swap them with the kids in Howland, Champion, Poland, and Canfield for a few years. Surely their scores will rise.

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