BY CAROLE RICHARDS
Usually when I talk with people about the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD), I hear how “bad” things are. Before CEO Eric Gordon drafted the Transformation Plan and became CEO, things were really bad! CMSD has seen twelve superintendents in twenty years!
I am a graduate of the Cleveland Schools, I taught in the Cleveland Schools and have spent time consulting in the Cleveland Schools. I watched the steady stream of Superintendents and CEO’s march through the old East 6th Street Board of Education. I had disappointing personal experiences with some of them. Yet, my heart remains with the district.
What’s New in the Cleveland Schools?
Fast forward to 2017 and some pretty amazing things are going on at CMSD. There are many new innovative high schools developed in Cleveland: Aerospace and Maritime, Early College, International, College and Career, Environmental Studies, STEM Schools, Science and Medicine, Architecture, Business, Digital Arts and more. In addition, CMSD offers an incredible vocational program. I had the opportunity to tour Max Hayes High School and was amazed at the technology, welding, auto repair and more that is offered to its students.
CMSD is wisely partnering with the Cleveland community to offer real-life internships to its students. Students have opportunities to learn about the world of work and career paths, which is extremely exciting and innovative for an urban school district.
An Army of Believers
On July 28th, CMSD had their tenth annual Army of Believer’s (AOB) Luncheon. 700 people paid $100 to support the AOB scholarship fund. This program is supported by our corporate community and foundations as well. Seventeen students were awarded $5,000 scholarships to cover fees room and board. They are attending many colleges including Princeton, Case Western Reserve University, Ohio State University among others.
Too often we hear about the failing schools, poor graduation rates and low test passage rates. But on July 28th, seventeen smiling promising students received college scholarships that will change their lives. While, this may sound like a ripple in the ocean, it isn’t. While not all students in Cleveland received scholarships that day, it represents the innovative approach to engage our youth in careers that will make huge differences in their lives.
I have come to know CEO Eric Gordon. I consider him my friend. He is a passionate and committed dynamic leader. He cares about Cleveland’s children. He can’t reform CMSD single handedly. However, as the leader, he is growing an Army of Believers that are helping him improve a school district that was almost lost.
Be the Change
Become part of the solution:
- Support the Army of Believers of the Cleveland Schools by attending their luncheon next year. Email AOB@clevelandmetroschools.org for an invitation.
- To learn all the great things happening at CMSD, go to clevelandmetroschools.org/cmsdtv and watch “CMSD 60” (60 seconds at the CMSD television studio, and much more).
- Get the CMSD mobile app to keep up to date. Visit http://www.clevelandmetroschools.org/news.
I am one of the Believers and I hope you will become a Believer, too!
Carole Richards is president of North Coast Tutoring Services, president/director of the Academic Fun & Fitness Camp held at Lakeland Community College, author of Richards Learning Systems® and a frequent guest on radio and TV. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.