State supt.: Youngstown community has to step up to fix schools


Ohio’s state superintendent isn’t happy with the progress of Youngstown City Schools, and he is asking the community to step forward and help.

“I’m disappointed with the lack of progress,” Richard Ross, state superintendent of public instruction, said in a telephone interview Thursday with The Vindicator. “Whether it be the school board, the administration or staff or the academic distress commission, the bottom line is they haven’t gotten done what needs to get done.”

The Youngstown School District Academic Distress Commission was appointed four years ago after the city school district failed to meet adequate yearly progress for four consecutive years on the state report card.

It was the first district in the state to operate under an ADC. Lorain Schools now also has one.

Ross briefly served as chairman of the Youngstown ADC before leaving to work as Gov. John Kasich’s director of 21st Century Education. Kasich later appointed Ross state superintendent after the resignation of Stan Heffner.

“The community at large, the faith-based community, the business community has to say, ‘Enough. We have to make dramatic change, whether that’s open enrollment or community schools, we have to make dramatic improvement,’” he said. “My call to action to the broad community is we need your help. We’re asking them to step forward.”

He said he has no date in mind.

Connie Hathorn, Youngstown schools superintendent, said he would support such an effort.

Read more of the state official's remarks in Friday's Vindicator or on

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