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Mayor Coleman, Supt. Good React To Failing City School Grades

So many people tried to log onto the Ohio Department of Education website Thursday that the system crashed. The site contains the new A through F rankings for the state’s public school districts. Not surprisingly, perhaps, Columbus City Schools were ranked rather poorly. The district earned 4 F’s, 3 D’s and 2 C’s. If they knew the results before hand, Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman and Schools interim superintendent Dan Good did not say. But they had plenty to talk about at a STEM school on Hamilton Avenue. Here’s Mayor Coleman:

“Our academic performance earned us an F. That’s unacceptable,â€? Coleman said.

It was another blow to the district already reeling from a data rigging scandal in which then-superintendent Gene Harris was forced to resign. Coleman put the best face that he could on the state’s evaluation. “Failing schools are unacceptable in the city of Columbus. It is our collective responsibility to fix what is broken and provide a chance for our kids to succeed,â€? he said. Time and time again Coleman called the grades “unacceptable.â€? But he was not willing to limit poor academic performance to teachers and administrators alone.

“We, as a community, have failed the children, of this school and we have failed the children of this district.â€?

Later the mayor was more blunt. “We all share the blame in Columbus,â€? Coleman said. Interim Superintendent Dan Good also spoke at the gathering. “For failing to meet 21 of 24 academic standards there are no excuses. And I offer none. I am dissatisfied but I am not discouraged. This state report card reflects this school district’s past. We have a plan for the future,â€? Good said. Part of that plan calls for an infusion of nearly $77 million from a tax levy which voters will decide on in November. Again Mayor Coleman.

“What’s before the voters is a reform package. It is not business as usual and so what we want is change. And what that levy represents [is] change.â€?