The message was loud and clear: Our entire community needs to be all in on education.
Now, a proposal being reviewed by the Columbus Education Commission makes clear what that would look like:
- A new public-private partnership would make sure Columbus has the best schools possible, by replicating successful local schools and attracting proven charter schools to the city.
- The mayor would appoint a director of educational improvement to ramp up the city’s efforts on education, including working with the Columbus school board and the new public-private partnership.
- An independent auditor would monitor the finances, performance and data of Columbus City Schools to strengthen public confidence in the system. This auditor would be jointly chosen by five elected officials, including the mayor and school board president.
All of these proposals would build additional support for the Columbus Board of Education — reflecting the idea that the entire community needs to take responsibility for educating our children.
As U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan told Columbus leaders last week, “Everybody has to step up and play a bigger role.”
On Friday, the Columbus Education Commission will review three new proposals, which you can read in full here:
- Implementation: A new community compact for educational excellence
- Effective teachers and principals
- High-performing neighborhood schools and more school choices
The commission also will review revised versions of the four initial proposals:
- Students with a purpose (career- and college-readiness)
- State-of-the-art teaching tools, materials and data
- Every Columbus child is kindergarten ready
- Serving the whole child
Effective teachers and principals
Principals would be told to focus on student success. To achieve that, they would be given more authority to hire the best teachers, manage their budgets and set policies for their schools. With that freedom, they also would be held accountable.
The Columbus City Schools would begin an immediate review of existing principals, and replace any who do not demonstrate the skills needed to improve their school’s performance. And, with the support of outside human resources professionals, the district would aggressively recruit talented school leaders and train the next generation.
High-performing neighborhood schools and more school choices
This proposal would set the ambitious goal that all schools in Columbus, charter or district, earn an A or B rating by 2025.
To achieve this, the proposal calls for a new focus on attracting and replicating great schools. A new public-private partnership would tap an innovation fund of public and private money to duplicate successful Columbus City Schools in other parts of the community and to lure strong charter schools to neighborhoods that need a good option.
The end goal is to provide parents with attractive places to enroll their children. To that end, this plan would foster and support groups like Clintonville Go Public, Southside STAY and Northwest STARS. Neighborhood schools would be funded on an equitable basis across the district, and every district principal would be given the authority to manage resources to best serve their students.
All neighborhood high schools would include a career-oriented flex academy — a “school within a school” in partnership with Columbus State Community College — that would offer students the opportunity to earn an associate degree near home.
These are just some highlights of these proposals, so we encourage you to read the full versions for each section.
The Columbus Education Commission will be discussing these proposals Friday at its meeting at the main branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library. The meeting will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The meeting will be open to the public and will be live-streamed on this website. We’ll also be live-tweeting the meeting from @ReimagineCbusEd, using the hashtag #cbusedu.
We’re eager to hear your feedback, both on this website and on Twitter. Weigh in.