CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Metropolitan School District has released an open letter from CEO Eric Gordon thanking voters for the passage of Issue 107, the Cleveland school levy.
On behalf of the professional staff of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, I want to thank the people of Cleveland for your overwhelming "Yes" votes that passed Issue 107, CMSD's first operating levy in 16 years.
Thank you to the courageous citizens that formed the Cleveland Plan Coalition, for setting aside your differences and launching an unprecedented and expanding movement for school reform in Cleveland. Thank you for traveling from your homes, your offices, your businesses, your churches, your classrooms and your neighborhoods to the State Legislature in Ohio, to City Hall in Cleveland and to the ballot box on November 6 to declare the Plan for Transforming Cleveland's Schools the "Right Plan, Right Now," for Cleveland.
Thank you to Cleveland's visionary business, government and philanthropic partners who shared our impatience with incremental school reforms and who did so much this year to propel CMSD and the City of Cleveland forward with a collective voice that, in the halls of our state legislature, could not be ignored.
To the diligent, committed and tireless "Right Plan, Right Now" levy committee, thank you for raising the bar, for inspiring our citizenry and for delivering the votes needed to propel the Cleveland Metropolitan School District forward.
Thanks, most of all, to the parents, students, senior citizens, clergy, council members, legislators, community and higher education partners, supporters and selfless volunteers across our community, and especially to the hundreds of teachers, principals, and professional staff members of the CMSD for the roles you individually and collectively played to carry our transformation vision into homes and neighborhoods throughout the city.
For each and every gesture of hope, every offer of help and every commitment to make it happen, for every phone call made, every handout delivered, every door on which you knocked and every "believer" you inspired, Thank you, Cleveland.
I am so grateful!
Together, we have positioned the Cleveland Metropolitan School District to deliver on the goals we set and the promises we made, and I am keenly aware of the expectations you have bestowed upon my colleagues and me over the next four years. In the days and weeks ahead, I commit to you that the children of Cleveland will see and feel the results of your investment as we:
• Restore key programs, teachers and a full day of school
• Update textbooks and technology to prepare students for participation in a 21st century global economy
• Eliminate failing schools and ensure high quality schools in every neighborhood
• Lengthen the school year for at-risk students
• Enforce discipline and increase parent involvement
• Fund high quality charter schools
• Attract, retain and reward excellent teachers, based on performance
• Provide real job experiences in local businesses
• And graduate more students ready for college and careers than ever before!
Our work has only just begun. Even as we celebrate the success we have achieved with the signing of The Cleveland Plan and the passage of a levy this year, our most important milestones lie ahead and cannot be reached without your continued belief and investment in the children of Cleveland. On December 1, I will release a 4-Year Strategic Blueprint for citywide school reform. Your review, your feedback and your input on this important strategic plan will play a critical role in charting our path forward. I urge you to provide feedback during the month of December.
Thank you, Cleveland, for responding to this continued call to action, for your commitment over the past 16 months and for your input in the weeks ahead. I urge you to stay engaged, to continue providing input and feedback, to continue expecting transparency and accountability, and to continue actively supporting our vision of academic excellence for every school in Cleveland. In the days ahead, as we begin implementing The Cleveland Plan, I am more grateful than ever for your belief in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and for the opportunity to move forward for our children, their future and the future of our great city.
Eric S. Gordon
Chief Executive Officer