Two State Senators Search for Education Success

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The State School Superintendent will soon be choosing three members of a 5 person Academic Distress Commission that will then choose a CEO and run Youngstown City Schools.  Two Democratic state senators opposed to the state takeover are hoping to influence how that commission operates by seeing how schools work. State Impact Ohio’s Mark Urycki reports


Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavone is trying to stop the Youngstown takeover in court but House Bill 70 has become law and he says he can’t wait for a possible Ohio Supreme Court ruling.  

The Democrat says he if can’t stop it, he wants to make it work.   Schiavoni has introduced legislation that would restrict the extraordinary power the new CEO would wield as the law now stands

“It would allow him to have some discretion but it would make him do some things like work with the community in public forums, like actually have to listen to folks and not break contracts on day one, not reconstitute into charter schools on day 2,   giving the city schools the opportunity to succeed.” 

Schiavone and Akron Senator Tom Sawyer visited Sawyer’s alma mater, Buchtel Community Learning Center looking for success stories that might work in Youngstown.

They asked teachers and students in Akron about project-based learning,  standardized tests, and how the inner city school took a low graduation rate up to almost 88%, well above the state average.   

Student Samir Nahali said the difference was changing the mode of teaching from dictating to motivating.

Buchtel principal Norma James said her teachers work a lot of extra time, even weekends, without pay.

Schiavone and Sawyer also visited a school in Columbus and plan to go to Cleveland and Cincinnati next.

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