Judge Nathaniel R. Jones, retired United States Circuit judge for the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, currently Of Counsel with Blank Rome LLP and member of the Board of Directors of KnowledgeWorks in Cincinnati.
A Youngstown native, Judge Jones wrote in a Youngstown Vindicator Op-Ed about the Youngstown City Schools recently updated annual plan and why it falls short of needed reforms in City School Must Act Boldly:
That plan does not take up the bold reform we proposed and thus falls short of the systemic reform for which we were advocating. However, we do think their plan may achieve academic gains over the next few years, depending on success in implementation, and possibly even allow the schools to return to the community from state control over the next several years.
But our opinion is that following a course of incremental change for modest gains, building on an outdated model of schooling that heretofore has produced mostly poor outcomes, will not likely produce the kind of dramatic gains toward excellence we are advocating for and Youngstown students deserve.
With this situation, I am reminded of a report I co-authored with the Youngstown Leadership Conference 45 years ago. In that report, entitled “Past Neglects, Future Demands,” we concluded that significant and systemic changes were needed in the community to bring equality to all residents, which at that time was still very unequal.
Essentially, what we are stating to the community is that Youngstown is in a crisis and that there is urgency. The crisis and urgency result from the harsh truth that a rendezvous is occurring between past neglects and future demands. If citizens of Youngstown rise to the occasion, the rendezvous will be glorious. However, their failure to do so could be catastrophic.
Visit Vindy.com to read the full editorial.