Cleveland Public Schools CEO Named Urban Educator of the Year

Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) CEO, Eric Gordon, has been named 2016 “Urban Educator of the Year”.  The award comes from the Council of the Great City Schools. It is the highest honor a superintendent can receive in the United States.

Gordon was given the award for the progress he has made since 2011 when he became CEO of the school district. He is credited with creating “The Plan for Transforming Cleveland’s Schools” and increasing attendance and graduation rates.

Cleveland schools progress (Source: CMSD)
Cleveland schools progress (Source: CMSD)

“Eric Gordon has made a profound difference in the lives of thousands of Cleveland’s students, helped propel a once-struggling school system forward, and significantly contributed to the future of the Great City of Cleveland. Well done, Eric Gordon,” said Michael Casserly, the council’s executive directors, in a press release.

According to a press release from CMSD, the CEO readily acknowledges that the District has much more work to do, but the District can point to clear signs of progress:

  • CMSD’s graduation rate that has risen 17 points in the last five years and stands at a record 69.1 percent.
  • An analysis of the District’s latest report card data by The Plain Dealer showed CMSD achieved the 15th highest gains in the state.
  • For the last three years, at least 85 percent of students have complied with Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee, required for promotion to fourth grade.
  • On the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as the Nation’s Report Card, Cleveland was one of three urban districts, out of 21, to register increases on all four portions of the fourth-and eight-grade reading and math tests.
  • Parent involvement has soared – with 91 percent of parents and caregivers having face-to-face contact with their children’s teachers last year.

Gordon told Cleveland.com that he credits the entire community for rallying behind the schools.

“This is Cleveland’s award,” he told the publication. “It’s the Cleveland Plan. It’s the entire community rallying around what’s right for kids. This isn’t Eric Gordon’s award. This is Cleveland’s award.”

As part of the award, Gordon receives a $10,00 college scholarship to present to a student.