CLEVELAND — Nearly one week after announcing his plans to resign following the current school year, Cleveland Metropolitan School District CEO Eric Gordon held his final State of the Schools address.
The address, which took place at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel, can be viewed in its entirety in the YouTube player at the bottom of this story.
Earlier this month, Gordon announced his plans to resign from his position, which he has held since 2011. In a statement, Gordon said he wanted to provide the school board and Mayor Justin M. Bibb "with sufficient time to conduct a thorough, high-quality search for the next CEO."
"The conditions are precisely right to hand off the baton and to ensure that the next CEO takes forward the progress and momentum we have made and built together," Gordon said Wednesday.
The State of Cleveland's public schools are better than they have been for a long time. For one, previous teacher, staff, and bus driver shortages along with inequities in technology and internet access for underserved students have improved dramatically. CMSD is also now staffed at an impressive 98.5%, putting the district in the strongest financial, operational, and personnel health it's been in in years.
More than 6,000 low-income Cleveland households now receive internet service, with every student getting their own laptop and iPad. All buses are also WiFi enabled, and the success of the Say Yes program guaranteeing full scholarships to all four-year district students also provides a much-needed boost.
"For the first time, CMSD is the highest rated urban school district in the state of Ohio," Gordon declared in his speech. "CMSD is healthy, strong, and strategically well-positioned in a way we haven't been in decades."
Financially, the district will be healthy thru 2026 and beyond, which means no new levies needs to be considered for at least four years. Although this year’s State of Schools is mostly positive, Gordon says the new superintendent will have some hurdles when the baton is passed, but his main hope is that his replacement will understand the culture of Cleveland, how it works, and step in with passion.