Transforming Cleveland's Schools

2012 was a landmark year for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. First, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and Schools CEO Eric Gordon developed a consensus plan to change how the city's schools operate. Then they won approval for it from the Ohio General Assembly and finally convinced voters to accept a 15-mill levy to pay for the reforms. Now comes the really hard part: actually transforming the educational experience for thousands of youngsters.

How will school leaders and the community be able to monitor progress? And how will success ultimately be measured and achieved? These are just some of the questions we will ask in the fourth installment of our Cleveland Connects community conversation series. Mayor Jackson will define the stakes for the city and the region, and then CEO Gordon and a panel of stakeholders will discuss how they can tackle challenges that have been building for decades.

View a photo gallery of the event created by the City of Cleveland.

Linda Darling-Hammond Interview

Linda Darling-Hammond is the Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at Stanford University. She gave a speech at the City Club, "The Need for School Reform," [watch online] on January 25, 2013. Afterwards, the Plain Dealer's Joe Frolik asked her a few questions about school reform for the upcoming special community forum "Cleveland Connects" focusing on the educational reform plan for Cleveland schools. Linda Darling-Hammond launched the Stanford Educational Leadership Institute and the School Redesign Network. Hammond has also served as faculty sponsor for the Stanford Teacher Education Program. She is the former President of the American Educational Research Association and a Member of the National Academy of Education. Her research, teaching and policy work focus on issues of school restructuring, teacher quality and educational equity. Darling-Hammond is the author of over 400 publications including "The Flat World and Education: How America’s Commitment to Equity will Determine our Future" (2010) and "Powerful Teacher Education" (2006). She was born and raised in Cleveland.


Mobilizing for Cleveland schools -- and for the next Cleveland Connects: Joe Frolik
Click here to read a column written about this installment of Cleveland Connects by the Plain Dealer’s Joe Frolik.

StateImpact Ohio is a collaboration among 90.3 WCPN ideastream, WKSU, WOSU and NPR. Reporters Molly Bloom and Ida Lieszkovszky travel the state to report on the state of education in Ohio, where it’s heading and how it affects you. Here are recent stories they have done on the Cleveland Metropolitan Schools.

Joe Frolik

Moderator, Joe Frolik, Chief Editorial Writer at The Plain Dealer, spearheaded the "Quiet Crisis" project that helped spawn a series of public-private initiatives aimed at making the Greater Cleveland region more economically competitive.

Frank G. Jackson

Frank G. Jackson, the 56th Mayor of Cleveland, graduated from Cleveland Public Schools, earned an associate’s degree from Tri-C and his bachelor’s, master’s, and law degrees from CSU. Mayor Jackson is focused on ensuring that the city offers an excellent quality of life, which includes Crafting Cleveland’s Plan for Transforming Schools, a child-centered plan that would lead to systemic change.

Carol Lockhart

Eric Gordon, was appointed the Chief Executive Officer of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District after serving as its Chief Academic Officer from 2007-2011. Mr. Gordon was one of the major architects of the District’s Academic Transformation Plan that garnered national recognition for its dramatic approach to top-to-bottom school reform.

Eric Gordon

Carol Lockhart is an educator with more than 20 years experience, 14 in CMSD. She was Principal of Cleveland Early College at John Hay which received the highest performance index score among high schools in the state of Ohio on the 2012 Ohio Graduation Test. Throughout her years of services, she has been involved in many of the District’s transformation initiatives.

David Quolke

David Quolke, President of the 6,000-member Cleveland Teachers Union since 2008. Prior to being elected president of the CTU, he worked individually with visually impaired students.

Helen W. Williams

Helen W. Williams, Ph.D. currently serves as Program Director at The Cleveland Foundation where she oversees the Foundation’s grant making in all areas of education. She has presented at the American Educational Research Association, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Annual Conference, the National Staff Development Council and the National School Boards Association. For the past 25 years, Ms. Williams has held a number of executive and consulting positions in the non-profit, public and corporate sectors focusing on strategic planning and leadership development.

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