Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson Proposes Transformative School Plan

Feb 8, 2012

By Peter Franzen, Director of Development

Citing a number of trouble spots in the Cleveland School District reflective of national trends in public education, Mayor Frank Jackson released a multi-point plan “that will reinvent public education in our city and serve as a model of innovation for the state of Ohio.”

In his proposal that he presented Monday night to a public group of school officials, lawmakers and citizens, Jackson lays out his case for re-engineering the district offices.  It call for the district office to focus on governance and support while putting autonomy and authority in the hands of individual schools.  In essence his plan is an exchange of autonomy for results; so long as individual schools produce great results, they are allowed to manage themselves.

Parental choice is at the heart of his “portfolio approach” that emphasizes the need to cultivate high-performing schools whether they be traditional public or public charter schools.  His plan calls for:

  • Promote, expand, and replicate existing high-performing district and charter schools.
  • Start new schools.
  • Refocus and strengthen mid-performing schools.
  • Repurpose and address low-performing schools.

The stated goal of Jackson’s plan is to triple the number of Cleveland students enrolled in high performing district and charter schools and eliminate failing schools.

The plan was created in partnership with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District CEO Eric Gordon.  Jackson is seeking help from the Ohio legislature to give Cleveland special standing to implement the plan as Ohio’s only district under Mayoral control.  The legislative help Jackson seeks pertains particularly to parts of the plan that changes things like work days, the number of school days and teacher tenure policies.

Read the article from the Ohio Plain Dealer here.

Read Jackson’s complete plan here.