U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was in Ohio today to talk about education reform efforts and meet with area superintendents.
He used his visit to Cleveland to tout efforts to turn around the failing district, known as the Cleveland Plan.
Duncan’s first stop was a preschool classroom at Anton Grdina elementary school, where he learned to plant beans along with several Cleveland preschoolers.
When asked by a teacher to identify the day’s big visitor, the students responded “Mr. Duncan, Barack Obama the President’s friend.”
It seemed like the secretary of education was having a good time learning about how plants grow, but he was actually in town to talk about the Cleveland Plan. He says Cleveland could be a model for education reform nationwide, because of the way the state law setting up the Cleveland Plan was passed.
“There are not many places where I’ve seen a Democratic mayor partner with a Republican governor partner with a city superintendent partner with a union leader,” he says.
Duncan acknowledged the city’s history of education reform plans with little success.
“There’s no guarantees this one will do something,” he says. “But I’m actually tremendously excited about the possibility.”
Duncan continued his travels around Ohio with a visit to Columbus to meet with Mayor Michael Coleman, Columbus School Board President Carol Perkins and community members to discuss ways to improve that district.