Return to Headlines

MC2STEM joins Schools That Can


Cleveland’s MC²STEM High School has been admitted to a nationwide network of schools that have demonstrated success in educating lower-income students.


MC²STEM becomes one of 149 schools approved for membership in the Schools That Can network since the nonprofit organization was formed in 2006 and is the first school in Ohio from a traditional public district to join. Members currently span 13 states, mostly in the East and Midwest.
The network is for high-performing, high-potential urban schools that serve predominantly low-income students without setting admission requirements. Schools must apply and undergo observation.


“We believe that all too often the focus is on the failure of our schools,” said Casey Lamb, the group’s national director of growth and leader of its validation committee, which makes final decisions on membership. “We highlight the success stories and lift them up so schools can learn from each other.”


MC²STEM is an unusual model, holding ninth-grade classes at the Great Lakes Science Center, 10th-grade classes at GE Lighting’s Nela Park campus and 11th- and 12th-grade classes at Cleveland State University. Its most recent state report card shows a four-year graduation rate of 92.8 percent.


Lamb hailed the school’s system of project-based learning and its partnership with GE. She also singled out the mentoring provided by GE employees and a capstone project, conducted during the year at Nela Park, that takes a product from concept to development.


The school, which focuses on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, has previously received recognition from the White House, the state and the National Center for Urban School Transformation. As President Obama talked about skills needed for the new economy in his 2014 State of the Union address, a graphic that accompanied an online version of the speech produced by the White House declared: "We need more schools like MC2STEM High School in Cleveland, OH." 
Other Ohio schools in the Schools That Can network include Citizens Academy, Cleveland Entrepreneurship Preparatory School, Intergenerational School, Luther Memorial School, St. Martin de Porres High School, Urban Community School and Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School, all in Cleveland, and Midnimo Cross Cultural Community School in Columbus.