In a school district that struggles to overcome a lot of obstacles and inertia, school choice in Cleveland is a point of light.
An article by Thomas Ott in this week’s Cleveland Plain Dealer highlights the student achievement successes of public choice schools in the mayoral-led Cleveland school district. District CEO Eugene Sanders has long promoted innovation in Cleveland and has said that he wants half of the district schools to become choice schools.
And it’s working.
Sans student admission standards, these public schools are pushing themselves to reach all students and teach them effectively. Among notable success factors:
- High expectations: “Failure is not an option; neither is mediocrity”
- Outside-the-box initiative: “We need entrepreneurial educators. We need people who are willing to take risks”
- Support from the teacher unions: “I think we can be innovative in every school”
- Individual attention: “Principal: I can be on top of every kid’s academic program”
Kudos to district CEO Eugene Sanders and the school leaders, teachers, and staff who create and foster these pockets of excellence. When innovation contributes to effectiveness, kids can begin building for a bright future. And when kids win, we all win.
- Sarah Pechan