Monday, October 29, 2012

Why I'm voting for the Cleveland school levy

A school levy is never just about the kids. It's also about the adults in charge. And the adults behind Issue 107, Cleveland's school levy, have done just about everything we could reasonably ask of them.

I live in Cleveland, and on Nov. 6, I'm voting for the levy. I explain why in "Stress Test," my commentary in the November issue of Cleveland Magazine.

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and schools CEO Eric Gordon (pictured) have assembled a coalition of business, nonprofit and labor leaders around an unprecedented set of reforms. Already, the district's new and innovative schools are already producing better results than the traditional schools around them, proving that a better education is possible.

The district has a plan to open more innovative schools, close and replace failing schools, and assemble and reward teaching staffs based on a new evaluation system. In a feat of persuasion and pressure, Jackson got both the state legislature and the teacher's union to sign off on the plan.

Now, it's the taxpayers' turn to join the effort -- or the reforms will become merely a way to manage layoffs and decline.

If you live in the city, or you're curious about Cleveland's school reforms and the levy effort, please read my piece here.

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