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In the same vein of our previous post, Cleveland has set its goals for improved school ratings, ACT scores & college readiness fuled by a recent education gains the new mayor has called ‘not good enough’. New Cleveland Mayor, Justin Bibb, knows the city’s schools improved under his predecessor, but not fast enough.  Key takeaways below:

  • Pandemic recovery work as an opportunity for rapid change, the “Great Reset.” 
  • “We have to actively accelerate the pace of change inside the district.” – Bibb
    • more schools highly-rated by the state
    • better test scores
    • students who are better prepared for college or jobs. 
  • With the district having the second-worst test scores in Ohio, Jackson and Gordon worked with legislators to create a district improvement plan and avoid state takeover.
  • Since then, despite several changes to state tests, the district has slowly crept closer to average state scores while edging up the rankings. In 2019, pre-pandemic, district scores had risen to eighth from the bottom.
  • The district has also trumpeted improvements in its graduation rate from just 52 percent in 2010 to 81 percent for the class of 2020 as the main evidence of improvement.
  • Since 2010, the Cleveland school district has had dramatic increases in its graduation rate — again repeatedly cited by the district officials as evidence of improvement.
  • Bibb applauded the graduation gains, but wants to see better state ratings of schools and better results on national tests like the ACT and NAEP.
  • Too few schools receive an A or B grade from the state.
    • In 2019 state report cards, about 10 percent of district schools graded B or higher, compared to 38 percent statewide.
    • District is not preparing students well enough for college, with too few scoring well enough on tests to be considered strong enough to avoid needing remedial classes when they start college.
    • Since 2012, the percentage of district students scoring remediation-free on the ACT rose only from 12 to 13.
  • City has to focus on tests like the ACT to see if Cleveland students are keeping pace nationally.
  • To reach his goals, Bibb said he knows he needs support  from companies, nonprofits and residents.
  • ”I don’t believe that I alone as mayor, or the schools can solve the problem by ourselves,” he said. “We need everybody in the community to play their respective role.”


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