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Education

Thursday meeting could decide fate of Lorain schools administration

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LORAIN — An update on the Lorain school district’s possible state takeover is expected at the end of the week after Superintendent Jeff Graham and school board President Tim Williams speak to the state superintendent.

The meeting, scheduled for Thursday, will be to discuss whether state Superintendent Paolo DeMaria will offer Lorain Schools refuge from their declining state report card grades.

“We’re hoping to have some sort of an update before the community/business/schools partnership meeting on Friday morning,” Graham said. “We’re heading down there to talk with him to kind of see where we’re at and hopefully get some guidance as to what’s going to happen with us moving forward, whether his plan is to offer us safe harbor or move forward with a CEO.”

The state placed the Lorain district under academic distress several years ago, and the schools needed to achieve a value-added score of C on the 2015 and 2016 state report cards and achieve a performance index score of C on both report cards as part of its recovery plan.

Lorain earned Ds in the performance index scores and while it earned an A in 2015 in value-added, an F this year is being regarded as cause for concern.

Districts across the state saw similar results on their state report cards. However, every other district, with the notable exception of Youngstown, has been offered “safe harbor” from these scores and will not face state intervention because they hadn’t previously been placed under distress.

Youngstown became a victim of a failing academic recovery plan and was placed under the control of a state-appointed CEO, who has the power to hire, fire and throw out union contracts. DeMaria is the only one who can make the decision to include Lorain with the states’ other districts.

Williams was not available for comment.

The community/business/schools partnership meeting will take place 8 a.m. Friday in the Lorain High School auditorium, 2600 Ashland Ave.

Contact Katie Nix at 329-7129 or knix@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @KatieNix330.



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