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Brittany Halpin

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Ohio Department of Education Press Releases

Experienced Leaders Appointed to Panel to Improve East Cleveland City Schools

Release date: 10/12/2018

Columbus -- Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria named three individuals to serve on the new academic distress commission that will carry out the statutory responsibilities supporting improvement and excellence in the East Cleveland City School District.

Named to the academic distress commission by Superintendent DeMaria are:

  • Rev. Stanley Miller, Pastor of Rust United Methodist Church (Oberlin, OH) and former executive director, NAACP, Cleveland Chapter;
  • Michael Schoop, Ph.D., Metropolitan Campus president, Cuyahoga Community College; and
  • Tachelle Banks, Ph.D., associate vice president of Institutional Diversity, chairperson of the Department of Teacher Education and full professor of Special Education, Cleveland State University.

“Our students are the future of our communities, state and nation, and it’s crucial we give them the best opportunities to succeed. We share a common purpose with the East Cleveland community – building upon assets and positive activity already taking place and providing a high-quality education for children. Strong partnerships are at the center of this work, and we recognize the commitment and support from parents and city and community leaders,” said DeMaria. “We’re grateful to these new commission members for their service and expertise and we look forward to supporting them as they work toward creating a high-quality education system for the children of East Cleveland.”

State law outlines the makeup of the academic distress commission and requires the following appointments to be made within 30 days, including:

  • Three members appointed by the state superintendent of public instruction, one of whom is a resident in the county in which the majority of the district's territory is located;
  • One member who is a teacher employed by the district, appointed by the president of the district board of education; and
  • One member appointed by the mayor of the municipality, or if no municipality exists, by the mayor of a municipality selected by the state superintendent. 

The primary responsibilities of the commission are to select a chief executive officer (CEO) who will have complete operational, managerial and instructional control of the district and approve the improvement plan developed by the CEO after working with stakeholders to identify expectations for academic improvement in the district. The CEO may delegate specific powers or duties to the district board or district superintendent.

Once academic distress commission members are selected, the superintendent of public instruction appoints a chair. Once the chair is appointed, the commission has 60 days to hire the CEO.

A school district can transition out of academic distress status once it receives an overall grade of "C" or higher and maintains a grade higher than “F” on the Ohio School Report Cards for two additional years.