Rev. Ronald Fails: Lima’s failing schools a reflection of leadership

The education of our youth affects the economics of society locally, nationally, and globally. Too often, our focus is centered on national and global issues to the point that we neglect those issues in our own back yard. The education system is an issue that needs to be challenged in Lima.

The NAACP fears that the Lima City Schools will be ran by the state if test scores remain below average. In the corporate arena, if those in leadership are not producing the desired results, they are replaced. In business, unproductive leadership is not permitted to hold positions for 10 to 20 years. Why would this community be silent when it comes to the most important fundamental system — its school district.

First and foremost, elected school board officials who hold in title only the position without taking responsible actions to create a systemic change in the district should be replaced by those who can competently address issues in regards to student achievement. It is the job of the school board to demand from its superintendent to be a transformational leader who can guide the district to academic success. It would be more productive in explaining to the community the educational plan to increase student achievement instead of talking about a proposed park. Furthermore, the district should be proactive in always conducting analysis of its curriculum and instruction without encouragement from the Ohio Department of Education. The analysis should encompass the performance of leadership on all levels beginning at the central office, principals, instructional coaches and teachers. If the analysis deems replacement, then it should occur to ensure systemic academic progression in the district.

The NAACP believes there are excellent educators in the district, but sometimes their efforts can be bottled neck by leadership from the board and central office.

Dr. Jesse W. Jackson, III, conducted professional development for the district that aligns with the views of the NAACP as outlined in his book “Don’t Kick Them Out!” The NAACP hopes that his coming was not just a cosmetic action, but results in seriously addressing issues in the district as outlined in his book.

Finally, parents and community leaders need to participate in open forums that hold board members and other school officials accountable. If the community can fill up a gymnasium or stadium to promote athletics, they should be just as concern about the academics performance which affects its economic growth by participating in education reform.

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Rev. Ronald Fails, president of Lima NAACP. Craig J. Orosz | The Lima News Ronald Fails, president of Lima NAACP. Craig J. Orosz | The Lima News

Ronald Fails

Guest Column

Rev. Ronald Fails is the president of the Lima chapter of the NAACP