Thursday, February 28, 2013

Education Reforms in Cleveland

Good to see reforms happening in Cleveland (from John Zitzner):

Incredible Things Going on in…Cleveland!?!

Over the past year education reform in Cleveland has reached a fever-pitch.  Mayor Frank Jackson brought together leaders from the school district, charter schools, labor, the business community and both political parties to dramatically improve education.  “The Cleveland Plan” combines several major reforms into a single transformation strategy, including:

  • Replicating high-performing schools -- district and charter schools -- and closing   failing ones in a portfolio school district
  • Ending seniority-based teacher layoffs and other changes to collective bargaining 
  • Partnering with high-performing charter schools, including -- for the first time -- sharing a portion of local levy funds

The major charter school partner in this effort is Breakthrough Schools, the highest performing network of free, public charter schools in Ohio.  Breakthrough formed as a collaboration of three of Cleveland’s highest performing charter school organizations, each with a unique academic approach.  Since then, Breakthrough has expanded to a network of 9 schools serving almost 2,000 students (97% minority and 82% NSLP), with plans to grow to 20 schools by 2020.  Breakthrough is also making a name for itself through its results:

1.      Ranked #1 for reading growth and #4 in math growth among urban charter networks in the recently released CREDO study

2.      Reversed Ohio’s 30-percentage point achievement gap -- Breakthrough’s African American students have out-performed the state average for non-minority students on every measure in each of the last two years

3.      Been One of only four charter school networks in the country to receive USDoE Charter School Program  Expansion and a Teacher Incentive Fund grants

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