The Toledo Blade wrote a commonsense editorial calling for repeal of HB 70, which allows the Ohio State Department of Education to take over and privatize the management of low-scoring school districts. Takeover has been tried and failed in Lorain and Youngstown. Now Toledo and other impoverished districts are threatened.

Frankly, it is  shocking to see such sound logic and reasoning, but it is also gratifying. Privatization is not the answer to poverty.

Here is a demonstration of what a thoughtful editorial writer can produce:

All in one day, back in 2015, a quickie amendment was added to an education bill in Columbus and rushed through the General Assembly with no hearings and no committee research. The measure allows the state to take over failing school districts — and Toledo Public Schools is in real jeopardy of being taken over so that state officials can “fix” the struggling district.

The problem is that the state’s cure looks as if it would be worse than what ails TPS.

Under House Bill 70, signed and defended by former Gov. John Kasich, the state can take over if a school district receives an overall “F” grade on its state report card for three consecutive years.

TPS earned an overall “F” last year. Many experts rightly point out that failing grade is a more accurate measure of a community’s extraordinary poverty than it is the quality of education children are receiving.

And because Toledo probably cannot quickly fix systemic poverty problems — more homeless students than any other Ohio district, 40 percent of Toledo children living below the poverty line, one in four children suffering from hunger — the district’s state report card is not likely to miraculously look like an honor roll contender this year or next.

The idea of a state takeover for truly failing school districts mightbe a good idea. Schools cannot be allowed to fail year after year. Districts cannot be allowed to fail their children and their communities.

But the standardized tests used to determine which schools are failing are recognized by more and more experts, parents, and communities as failed measuring tools.

And in the districts that have already endured state takeover — Youngstown, Lorain, and East Cleveland — the process has been revealed as a sham. Youngstown, the first district targeted for takeover, actually posted worse standardized test scores after an outside CEO took over, dropping from 602nd in the state to 606th.

It is not as if state authorities can point to a failing management team or negligent school board. Under the leadership of Superintendent Romules Durant, TPS has increased its graduation rate from 63 percent to 78 percent in the last three years. It has created successful themed magnet schools to let students focus on art, aeronautics, and business. The district has passed a series of levies in the last three years and has a stable financial forecast.

What, exactly, would state officials expect a privatized management team do differently? There is no magic wand to be waved over poor, urban school districts. If a quick fix were possible, the TPS officials would have used it years ago.

Last year, then-State Rep. Teresa Fedor sponsored a bill to halt state takeovers. The moratorium bill was blocked by Republicans and by Mr. Kasich, who promised to veto it. But the General Assembly did agree to study the effect of takeovers on school districts.

Local control is the cornerstone of American public education. Taxes, hiring, curriculum, and policy for a community’s most important public institution — its schools — are meant to be decided by locally elected officials, not hired guns with zero accountability to parents and taxpayers.

The General Assembly must pass — and Gov. Mike DeWine must sign — a bill that halts state takeovers of school districts.

Schools cannot fail their communities and failing schools must be accountable. But the current school takeover process in Ohio does nothing to make failing schools accountable or successful.