Lorain City Schools to follow Youngstown into state oversight, CEO


Staff report

YOUNGSTOWN

Lorain City School District is set for success, its leader says.

The district is on the cusp of enacting a similar plan to the Youngstown City School District’s so-called “Youngstown Plan” or House Bill 70 in mid-2017. The plan became a law in June 2015 and states that any school district with three years of failing grades issued by the state will no longer be run by the local school board.

Youngstown, for example, is instead led by a chief executive officer and overseen by a state-appointed academic distress commission, although its elected board of education remains in place.

Tom Williams, Lorain Board of Education president, said Lorain schools suffered after the state added three new tests to its evaluation of districts, which increased “academic rigor,” while the district was already in academic distress.

Lorain went from achieving A’s and B’s in the key areas that focus on progress to all F’s in the 2015-2016 report cards.

“While our teachers and students are making great gains, we didn’t meet those benchmarks,” he said. “Now we are working closely with the state to ensure a smooth transition so that together we can have a positive impact in Lorain.”

Brian Benyo, chairman of the Youngstown City Schools Academic Distress Commission, explained that every community will respond differently to implementing HB 70.

“In some regards the situation here in Youngstown has been more difficult because it’s more contentious to radical changes,” he said. “I really don’t know if the situation is the same anywhere else.”

Read the full story Monday in The Vindicator and vindy.com

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