The Greater Cleveland Partnership’s (GCP) priority in primary and secondary education is working in support of The Cleveland Plan, legislation enacted in 2012 that calls for dramatic changes in how the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) operates.
The plan's key strategies include growing the number of high-performing district and charter schools, focusing the district’s central office on support and governance while transferring authority and resources to the schools, creating high-leverage system reforms across all schools, and creating the Cleveland Transformation Alliance, a public-private partnership (of which GCP is an active member) that ensures accountability for all public schools in the city.
Each year at the CMSD State of the Schools, CEO Eric Gordon shares the district’s growth and progress under The Cleveland Plan.
According to Gordon, who, fittingly, used Newton’s laws of motion as an analogy for CMSD’s progress, “In Newton’s terms, the mass that is the Cleveland Metropolitan School District is not only accelerating its progress, but it is gaining momentum.”
Highlights include strides in K-3 literacy, with 85.3 percent of third grade students meeting the Third Grade Reading Guarantee; significant improvements on English and math exams in grades 4-8, with several of these grade levels testing higher than estimated state averages; and another record-setting increase in the high school graduation rate, which is now 78.2 percent.
“One needs only to visit a classroom in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District to see and feel the difference, to understand what momentum is, what it looks like in action and what impact these changes are having on the way Cleveland’s kids think, learn and act,” Gordon said.
Looking to the future, Gordon focused in on Cleveland’s selection as a Say Yes to Education city.
A 25-year initiative that funds both scholarships for CMSD graduates and support services to help students and families overcome barriers to success, Say Yes to Education Cleveland is widely seen as a finishing a path that can nurture and guide students from high-quality preschool to a choice of school options to college and career.
“To the people in this room and across this community, whose vision and unwavering support brought us here, I am happy to report that the state of our schools is stronger and measurably better than at any time in recent history,” Gordon said. “Each of you helped put the district in motion. So, now let's accelerate the gains we are seeing. Let's build on that momentum."
The Greater Cleveland Partnership is committed to working with its partners in the public and private sectors to ensure that Northeast Ohio creates, attracts and retains a 21st century workforce. A renewed and reinvigorated public-private partnership is helping to support the development of educational systems to prepare our students for in-demand jobs in our region. Learn more about GCP’s initiatives in education and developing Cleveland’s talent pipeline.