Columbus mayor pleads for better schools

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The mayor of Columbus is pleading with the community to help make the public schools better.

Mayor Michael B. Coleman calls is "a fight for the very soul of our city."

The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/Vzmref ) reports that Coleman's plea came in his annual State of the City address at a high school Thursday. He challenged school officials, parents and business leaders to come together to turn around the beleaguered city district.

Coleman is proposing a complete study of the district's business practices, a system to find better teachers and more pre-school access for children. He asked the business community to help replace failing schools.

The district has been embroiled in a state and federal investigation into attendance data scrubbing, grade changing and allegations of fraud.

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Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com