CMSD NEWS BUREAU
CMSD Chief Executive Officer Eric Gordon will meet with President Obama on Monday to discuss efforts to strengthen education in city schools.
Gordon is one of 11 U.S. superintendents and board members invited to meet with the president for an hour, starting at 11 a.m., at the White House. Also attending will be Michael Casserly, executive director of the Council of the Great City Schools, a group that advocates for the nation’s larger school systems.
The meeting could give Gordon a chance to talk about the District's progress under The Cleveland Plan and the importance of maintaining funding critical to further success.
Gordon has expressed concern about a proposed cut in funding earmarked for aiding disadvantaged students. A proposal in Congress would take a portion of what is known as Title I funding from the nation's most impoverished districts and give it to more affluent areas.
CMSD could lose $14 million of its $55 million annual share. The District spends the money for a variety of purposes, including paying teachers' salaries and operating Project ACT, which aids homeless students.
“It is true that all of Ohio’s school districts serve children living in poverty. This is a problem facing our entire nation,” Gordon said last month after the proposal went to the House floor.
“But Ohio’s large urban districts continue to serve the largest percentage of these young men and women, with a combined 86.5 percent of the children in The Ohio Eight (a coalition of Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo and Youngstown) qualifying for free or reduced lunch, compared with just 48.5 percent statewide."
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, 54 percent of Cleveland’s school-age children live in poverty, second highest among the country’s largest cities. Gordon has encouraged parents and others to call legislators and oppose the proposed cut in Title I funding.
Gordon and CMSD have drawn attention as the District carries out The Cleveland Plan, a customized set of sweeping reforms for education in the city.
In December, the CEO was part of a panel at a White House summit on early childhood education. Obama has praised PRE4CLE, a network pairing CMSD and private providers in an effort to make high-quality preschool available to as many of the city's 3- and 4-year-olds as possible.
Earlier this month, Gordon spoke in San Francisco at the Carnegie Foundation’s Summit on Improvement in Education. He was on a panel that discussed “Leading the Transformation of Large Complex Systems.”