NAACP and Yo. Board of Ed. at odds over leadership

Youngstown School Board meeting

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – There was arguing Tuesday night at the Youngstown City School Board meeting between the board and local NAACP President George Freeman.

For years, Youngstown City School’s report cards have put the district at the bottom of the list across the state. The Youngstown branch of the NAACP is demanding changes within the district.

“The NAACP is a part of our community at large. We want to see dramatic changes, and we will be a part of the state superintendent’s call to action,” Freeman said.

School and city leaders have said they want to see dramatic improvements, too. Youngstown Mayor John McNally released a statement Tuesday in support of Superintendent Dr. Connie Hathorn.

“As Mayor of the city of Youngstown, I continue my strong support for the Youngstown City School District under the direction of Superintendent Connie Hathorn and Deputy Superintendent Doug Hiscosx,” McNally stated. “Some in the community continue to mistakenly believe the academic problems of the district fall squarely on the superintendent’s office. Ignored by this view are the continuing efforts of the Superintendent, district administrators, teachers, community groups and the Academic Distress Commission to improve the education of our city students.” Read Mayor McNally’s complete statement here.

Hathorn says the report cards have improved in most areas.

“There are some areas we did go down in and that is a concern. We are trying to look at the data and see why it did go down,” Hathorn said.

The discussion on how to improve student performance was cut short for some who attended the meeting since there was a time limit on comments. Board President Brenda Kimble shortened the amount of time to talk from five minutes to three minutes to make sure all speakers had a chance to speak.

“You can see their main things was timing us to make sure we didn’t go over and not listening to what we had to say. So, they can improve,,” Freeman said. “We were trying to help them help the school system, and they are acting like we are trying to fight them. We are trying to help them.”

The NAACP says if the board doesn’t work with them they will take their concerns to the Ohio State Board of Education in Columbus.

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