In light of the Ohio General Assembly’s decision in 2015 to create the Academic Distress Commission to reform Youngstown City Schools, Innovation Ohio has put forward some findings to assist the Commission in its mission.
“While it is extremely problematic the back room way the plan was jammed down the throats of the voters and citizens of Youngstown, if the CEO and Commission follow the evidence, it’s possible positive changes can happen for the city’s children,” said Innovation Ohio Education Policy Fellow Steve Dyer. “The reason for this report is to give the CEO and citizens the tools to proceed using evidence, rather than ideology, to improve the lives of children. We hope the leaders follow our suggestions and the citizens hold those leaders accountable for doing so.”
The proposals included in this report revolve around three areas: 1) classroom level reforms, 2) Integrated Student Services, and 3) advocacy for research based reforms.
For example, universal preschool for 3 and 4 year olds has been shown to pay dividends throughout the lives of children who participate. Similarly, students in the K-3 grade levels benefit greatly from smaller class sizes due to the need for individual attention.
Integrated Student Services is a method – used to much positive effect in Cincinnati – that works to mitigate non-academic factors in student success such as child care, substance abuse prevention, and nutrition.
Read the full report here.