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Published: Thursday, 7/25/2002

Northwood school put on state list by mistake

A Northwood elementary school identified as “needing improvement” was mistakenly put on a list compiled by the state, Superintendent Ron Matter said.

Federal education guidelines mandate that schools receiving certain federal funds make improvements this year if they have not made adequate gains on proficiency tests during the last few years.

The Ohio Department of Education released the state's list last week of 415 “needing improvement” schools among 2,894 qualifying schools.

Northwood's Lark Elementary was identified by the state as needing improvement. But Mr. Matter said test scores at Lark have made adequate gains and it should not have been noted.

“We are being removed from the list. We should not have been on the list because we've made the requisite improvements,” he said.

Two dozen Toledo Public Schools made the list, as did Springfield's Dorr Street Elementary and Elmwood's Wayne Elementary.

Craig Cotner, TPS's chief academic officer, said the district is reviewing its schools on the list to see whether any were incorrectly included.

Ohio Department of Education spokeswoman Dottie Howe said schools on the list have 30 days to question their inclusion.

“We are having challenges, and we are able to clean up some of the verification of the data with verification,” she said. “Many of the districts are calling us now.”

She did not know how many schools had challenged the list nor when the revised list would be completed.

Districts with schools on the “needing improvement” list may decide which improvements to make from a selection of corrective action, according to the federal legislation. Among the actions are replacement of key staff, new curriculum, extended school days, outside consulting, or organizational restructuring.

Fifteen Toledo elementary schools must take corrective action. They are Chase, East Side Central, Fulton, Glenwood, Hale, King, Lincoln, Newbury, Pickett, Sherman, Spring, Stewart, Walbridge, Warren, and Westfield. An additional nine schools must develop two-year improvement plans, allow parents to choose other schools for their children - space permitting - and provide professional development to teachers. Those schools are Birmingham, Cherry, Garfield, Marshall, McKinley, Navarre, Oakdale, Raymer, and Reynolds.

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