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Cleveland School District Requests Exemption from State Takeover

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Cleveland Teachers Union President David Quolke, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, and Cleveland Schools CEO Eric Gordon joined forces to pass the Cleveland Plan to Transform Schools.

It's no secret that the Cleveland school district hasn't been doing so well. The writing of a state takeover was on the wall when the district teamed up with the mayor's office and the governor to pass House Bill 525, aka The Cleveland Plan.

Still, under state law when a district gets the equivalent of an "F" four years in a row and cannot meet federal standards for improving student performance, it has to go under state oversight until the district improves, or until the state superintendent sees fit.

Earlier this month, Cleveland and Lorain schools were sent letters informing them they are academically failing and an Academic Distress Commission has to be formed.

But Cleveland is hoping to get out of the state takeover.

Cleveland School District CEO Eric Gordon sent officials at the Ohio Department of Education and the State Board of Education a letter yesterday requesting a waiver from the state takeover. Gordon cites the Cleveland Plan legislation as the reason his district should be exempted from a state takeover.

In his letter, Gordon writes the Cleveland Plan gives ODE and the state board of education about as much oversight as an Academic Distress Commission.

The Cleveland City Council and the Greater Cleveland Partnership have both passed resolutions supporting the district's request for a waiver, and the teachers union has penned their letter expressing support for the district.

ODE spokesman John Charlton confirms the department has received the request and is currently reviewing it.

You can read the full waiver request below.

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