Cleveland school plan beginning to show results, but incremental progress is not enough, Alliance reports
CLEVELAND, September 12, 2016 – Work toward the goals of Cleveland’s Plan for Transforming Schools is beginning to have an impact, but progress remains slow, according to a new report by the Cleveland Transformation Alliance. The Cleveland Plan, launched in 2012 by civic leaders, seeks to reinvent public education in our city by creating a diverse portfolio of district and charter schools.
The Alliance, created as part of the Cleveland Plan, reports progress and challenges on efforts to ensure all Cleveland children attend quality schools.
For this second annual report on the implementation and impact of the Cleveland Plan, the Alliance measured progress on key indicators including the high school graduation rate and Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee. These measures have stayed relatively stable as the state has repeatedly changed its standards and assessments for K-12 public schools. The group also gauged progress on the recommendations it made in its 2015 report.
School performance data have trended mostly upward, and system changes in both the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and the charter sector are creating higher-quality learning environments for students, the report found. But too many schools are still struggling to meet ever-increasing state and national standards of quality, leaving a significant proportion of Cleveland students ill-prepared for college and career.
As part of its report, the Alliance highlighted the need to move more decisively to improve or close struggling schools, strengthen classroom instruction and work to retain high-level leadership. The Alliance also called for closer collaboration between the district and charter schools, as well as within the charter sector, the development of stable benchmarks to measure progress, and coordinated advocacy on the implementation of federal law in Ohio.
The Cleveland Transformation Alliance is a nonprofit organization created to: (1) Assess the quality of all district and charter schools in Cleveland; (2) Communicate to parents about quality school choices; (3) Report on implementation of the citywide education plan; and (4) Monitor charter sector quality and growth. The Alliance Board of Directors includes representatives from CMSD, the charter school sector, the Cleveland Teachers Union, the business community, nonprofits, foundations, educators and parents.