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What You Need to Know About the Cleveland School District

Background

The Cleveland school district is Ohio’s second-largest school district. More than 44,000 students attend its 112 schools. The majority of students, 69 percent, are African-American and most are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. (The exact percentage of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, often used as a proxy for family income level, isn’t available because the district offers the meals to all of its students.) Looking at graduation rates, 54 percent of the  students who entered twelfth grade in the fall of 2008 graduated from high school by spring 2009.

In the 2009-10 school year, 40 percent of fifth graders could demonstrate basic, grade-level reading skills and 29 percent could demonstrate basic, grade-level math skills, according to the district’s state report card. For eighth graders, those figures were 61 percent for reading and 41 percent for math.

Cleveland School District

Eric Gordon is the Cleveland school district's current CEO.

The district’s current CEO is Eric Gordon, whose term started on July 1st, 2011. He was previously the Chief Academic Officer for the Cleveland school district, and in that role one of the primary creators of the district’s “Transformation Plan.”

The plan aims to turn around the district’s low-performing schools and poor graduation rates as well as adjusting to a fairly steady population, and therefore financial, decrease. The early stages of the plan included closing several schools and laying off hundreds of teachers. According to the plan, failing schools will also be “repurposed” through a variety of efforts which include switching out the school leadership, having all teachers reapply for their jobs, redesigning the academic program, or turning it into a charter school.

The union that represents Cleveland teachers is the American Federation of Teachers Local 279, commonly known as the Cleveland Teachers Union. It’s headed by David Quolke.

Latest Posts

Cleveland Schools Will Ask Voters For Additional Construction Funds

Cleveland Schools CEO Eric Gordon

This November 4th voters in Cleveland will decide whether to keep money flowing to replace or upgrade school buildings. Issue 4 on the Cleveland ballot asks voters to approve selling bonds to extend a school construction run that began in 2001. Back then, a roof collapse at East High School set in motion a levy [...]

City Club of Cleveland: State of the Cleveland Schools

The City Club of Cleveland was once again host to the State of the Schools address for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. With fewer than three years remaining until the historic 15-mill levy expires, this year’s address by CEO Eric S. Gordon discusses investments that have been made so far and plans for the future, [...]

Cleveland Plan Showing First Signs Of Success, Says Schools CEO Eric Gordon

Cleveland Schools CEO Eric Gordon

Correction: This story originally stated that CEO Gordon did not discuss a bond issue for school construction on the November ballot.  He did indeed discuss it in both his speech and during the Q&A segment.  We regret the error.    Cleveland Schools CEO Eric Gordon called the 2013-2014 school year a “year of disruption that [...]

The Sound Of Ideas: They Chose To Stay In School

“I owe it to myself to stay in school.” —Tyler Watkins, a student at Cleveland’s School of One alternative education program. When David Boone was homeless and 15, he’d sleep on the wooden bleachers in a Cleveland park. And the next day he’d be in school. In a district where dropouts are common, Boone stayed. [...]

The Sound of Ideas: Wrap-Around Schools

Kids are heading back to school this week, but some students will be carrying more than books. They’ll bring hunger, illness, maybe the baggage that comes with living in neighborhoods where poverty and crime persist. How do you teach children when life gets in the way of learning? In this edition of The Sound of [...]

More Than 300 Cleveland School Kids Repeating Third Grade

Cleveland schools opened for their first day of the year with 324 kids required to repeat the third grade.  That’s more than 7 times the number of third graders held back in 2013. The large number stems from students’ failure to meet the state’s new third grade reading guarantee that went into effect. just this [...]

Cleveland School District Receives $3M Grant

The Cleveland schools are getting a $3 million dollar grant to develop better ways to inform families of their school choice options, and to standardize the enrollment process district-wide. The grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation will be shared roughly equally between the Cleveland Transformation Alliance and the district itself. The alliance, a [...]

Districts Caught Up In Data-Scrubbing Scandal See Ratings Falter

COMEDY_NOSE / FLICKR The Ohio Department of Education has lowered the ratings of six school districts which previously misrepresented student performance. The action is a follow-up to the State Auditor’s finding that schools around the state “scrubbed” test results from lower performing students before submitting their data to the state. The affected districts include Cleveland, [...]

Expecting Results From Cleveland’s Transformation Plan

The conservative-leaning Fordham Institute says this year’s test results will be telling as to whether the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s much touted transformation plan, approved in the summer of 2012, is making a mark. The district showed no significant improvement in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores in 2013 – the first year [...]

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