For several generations, Upper Arlington Schools were one of the top academic school districts in the state, seldom failing to be one of the top 10 ranked districts in the state and usually the number one district in Central Ohio. These early rankings were documented by publications such as U.S. News & World Report and locally by Columbus Monthly, the Dispatch, the Citizen-Journal and others.

More recently, the state of Ohio Department of Education has ranked every school district in the state (  The Ohio DOE uses “Performance Index”* to compare districts and the data shows a very disturbing trend line.  The state data is available from 2003 – 2019 and in the last few years Upper Arlington Schools’ rankings have plummeted.

Certainly, our community has provided the UA Schools with the financial resources necessary to excel.  Ohio Department of Education 2019-20 data shows that of the 59 districts in the state with enrollment of more than 5,000 students, Upper Arlington Schools spends more per pupil ($13,654.71) than every district but one. (

The first step in fixing this problem is to admit that there is an actual problem, which is something the current School Board and the Superintendent have failed to acknowledge.

*According to the Ohio Department of Education, the Performance Index “is a calculation that measures student performance on the Ohio Achievement Assessments/Ohio Graduate Tests at the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade levels and English I, English II, Algebra I, Geometry, Integrated Math I and Integrated Math II.” (


Lou believes the students and teachers of Upper Arlington Public Schools are the finest in the state and given the proper focus by the Board and Administration, our district’s academic standards will return to form. The first thing we must do is for the Board and the Administration to admit that there is an issue and just as important, we need to reconfirm that our most important job as a school district is to provide a best-in-class academic experience to our students.  As an Upper Arlington School Board member, Lou promises to make solving this problem his top priority.  With that in mind, Lou has announced the following initiative aimed at addressing this critical issue for our schools.

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Academic Competitive Excellence Initiative

  1. The UA School Board will create a task force with the sole goal of making Upper Arlington Schools the number one school district in the state academically by the year 2027
  2. The UA School Board will hire an outside independent firm to help the Board and Administration identify areas of academic deficiencies and propose solutions
  3. The UA School Board will set academic performance expectations for the Administration
  4. The UA School Board will revise the UA Schools Mission Statement to reflect a commitment to academic excellence

Proposed Implementation Timeline

January 2022 – Lou introduces resolutions to begin the Academic Competitive Excellence process

January 2022 – Lou introduces resolution to revise the Upper Arlington Schools Mission Statement

March 2022 – Task Force created and begins meeting

May 2022 – Independent consulting firm hired for the purpose of investigating the academic decline of the schools and identifying solutions

June 2022 – October 2022 – Firm conducts investigation

January 2023 – Firm presents report to Task Force

February 2023 – Board receives report

March - April 2023 – Board passes resolutions requiring administration compliance to resolve issues identified in report.  This includes benchmarks for academic turnaround.

2023-2024 School Year – Plan execution begins

Lou Sauter For UA School Board

Paid for by Lou Sauter for School Board, Chris Reinke, Treasurer  |  1616 Tremont Rd UA 43212