Getting hip to Krish Mohip

Ohio’s second-ever school district CEO was chosen at the end of May by the members of the Youngstown City Schools Academic Distress Commission (ADC). He is Krish Mohip, a former teacher and principal and current school administrator in Chicago. He has a track record of turning around low performing schools in the Windy City and make no mistake that that is his charge in Youngstown as well.

Mohip was chosen from a field of nearly three dozen candidates and was introduced to Youngstown stakeholders and the public last week. So far he is enthusiastic, effusive, and inclusive. He told WFMJ-TV that he is thrilled to be in Youngstown and can’t wait to get to work gathering input and working with the ADC, teachers, parents, the elected school board, and the community to create the academic improvement plan that is his required first order of business. In an in-depth interview with Vindy Radio last Friday, Mohip was thoughtful and engaging but clear on his goals: all parents want the best for their children, all children can learn, and it is the schools’ job to make that learning happen. We are encouraged by Mohip’s track record and enthusiasm for the work, an attitude sorely lacking in Youngstown for the last few years. Importantly, while he says that HB 70 – the legislation which created the new ADC and the CEO position – “will not save the schools”, he does know that it forms the basis of his charge and is the measuring stick against which his success or lack thereof will be judged. There are a number of open questions about the extent of the CEO’s power, especially with regard to the elected school board. Luckily, Mohip seems willing to define the process for himself while keeping a steady eye on what constitutes success: true academic improvement for all kids and schools. Check out this extended interview with Mohip for more of his insights.

We are hopeful that the entrenched interests which have thrived during the many years of academic failure in Youngstown will have no choice but to get on board with the new paradigm. We urge the parties involved in ongoing litigation against HB 70 and the Academic Distress Commission to stand down and join Krish Mohip as he begins his vital work. We will watch the unfolding process closely, especially as Youngstown could become a template for other districts in Ohio.