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State “takeover” of schools could be replaced by consultants, new state panel


Yet another proposal to rework Ohio’s controversial state “takeover” plan for struggling school districts is emerging in the state Senate: having outside consultants work with individual schools to improve them.

The plan calls for a new Ohio School Transformation Process to replace the state’s “Academic Distress Commissions,” panels that are mostly state-appointed and that supersede local school boards, with a single state Transformation and Student Success Board that would work with any troubled school in the state.

Districts would then pick outside consultants approved by the state panel to do a “root

cause analysis” of the issues at individual schools and help those schools solve them. The new panel would then track how well the consultant’s plans are carried out.

State Sen. Peggy Lehner, chair of the Senate Education Committee, is proposing the plan after gathering help from a “workgroup” she created. She said the plan leaves more control to local school boards than under the Academic Distress Commissions.

“We’ll hear as many people as want to and need to testify,” said Lehner, who allowed the 2015 bill to go through her committee in a rush, but now says she regrets that decision. “I’m not doing this without fully vetting it publicly.”

Read the full Plain Dealer article here:


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