Mayor Jack Ford has been named to a statewide task force focusing on improving high school education.
The Task Force on Quality High Schools and a Lifetime of Opportunities was announced by the state Board of Education. Thirty educators, business people, and community members were named to the task force.
Also appointed to the task force locally was Nancy Pietras, director of the Northwest Ohio Tech Prep Consortium, based at the University of Toledo.
Mr. Ford said he wants to concentrate on reducing the dropout rate, which he said contributes to unemployment and gang activity.
About 20 percent of Ohio students who start high school don't finish. In some Ohio districts, fewer than half of ninth graders will end up graduating, state education officials said.
The task force grew out of the state board's Closing Achievement Gaps Task Force. It is expected to make recommendations to the state board in June, 2004, on organization and staffing, as well as focus on career and technical training and on the transition from middle school to high school.