Late last week the Ohio Department of Education sent letters to Cleveland and Lorain School Districts, informing them that their failing grades have landed them in a state takeovers.
According to Ohio law, if a district is in academic emergency and fails to make progress for four or more years, the Department of Education must take over the district and whip it into shape under the guidance of an Academic Distress Commission.
That commission must be comprised of five members, three appointed by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and two appointed by the local school board president. The district then remains under state takeover until it improves, or until the state superintendent decides the commission is no longer necessary.
Ohio schools will not be getting overall grades on their state report cards for the next two years as the state switches from its current system to a letter grade system, but performance index scores and value added scores will still be given. Those are the two areas where improvement is necessary for a district to be released from a takeover.
Cleveland school officials released statements last week saying that they hope to avoid a state takeover, and Ohio Department of Education officials said the department is open to other options, and will take into consideration the district’s passage of the Cleveland Plan legislation.
State takeovers of school districts are rare in Ohio. As WKSU reports, until now Youngstown was the only district to have to undergo one.
You can read the official letters sent to Cleveland and Lorain School Districts below.