Why is Barberton So Far Behind? Part One: The Schools (Editorial Opinion)



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Why is Barberton so far behind? I ask that question routinely and can’t seem to get the answer. To those of us who are longtime Barbertonians, our city feels like a small, quiet town filled with good people and a bustling downtown. But when compared to other area communities, the stark realities of Barberton come fully into view. I decided to compare Barberton to Norton, Cuyahoga Falls, Stow, Wadsworth, Green, Canal Fulton, Hudson, and Akron. These communities are Suburbs, Inner City and Rural.

First, I compared the school districts. Barberton’s overall grade as a school district is “D”. Of the other communities, Cuyahoga Falls and Akron also scored a “D”, Stow graded a “C” and the others, Norton, Wadsworth, Green, Canal Fulton, and Hudson received a “B”.For graduation rate, Barberton, again, received a “D”, Akron was the only other district to receive this grade. Cuyahoga Falls received a “B” and the rest all graded “A”. The final category is “Prepared For Success”. For this, Barberton was joined by Akron and Cuyahoga Falls in scoring an “F”. Norton, Stow, and Canal Fulton earned a “D”, Wadsworth and Green graded a “C” and Hudson scored an “A”.

The Barberton School Districts’ performance is very low. And for a community that consistently passes and renews school levies, this is surprising, disappointing and unacceptable. The schools are well funded and well-staffed so there is really no legitimate reason for the poor performance. So why is Barberton so far behind? Are there not enough teachers? I would say that the number of teachers is more than acceptable. The student to teacher ratio is 18:1. I looked at my third-grade class picture and there were twenty-seven students in that class and we all turned out just fine. So what is causing such low performance from a school district that is well funded and well-staffed? It is a legitimate question that needs to be answered.


  1. In all the successful school districts around us, the distinct differences are parental involvement in a in the schools in a positive way and education is of a high value at home. There is also a social and economic difference…these are not secrets , they have been known and proven for 50 years before school report cards… if kids don’t come to school prepared to learn, they won’t. Am coming to school is a part of the low scores… the absenteeism horrifiying… schools cannot fix all of these things… and they shouldn’t have tp

    • What you say is true. And since that is the case, what is the justification to bring in hundreds more of disadvantaged students through open enrollment?

      • Not all students who open enroll are disadvantaged. Both of my sons are open enrolled in Barberton. They are certainly not disadvantaged. We choose to come to Barberton for the gifted program. Barberton does gifted education better than anyone else in the area.


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Rocci Ratay
Rocci Ratay
Fourth Generation Barbertonian. Opinionated and streetwise

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