Cleveland education reform plan discussed at community meeting

CLEVELAND - Mayor Frank Jackson and Cleveland Schools CEO Eric Gordon outlined the plan for transforming schools at a community meeting Thursday night.

"We're focused on quality education," Jackson told about 60 residents who gathered at the Gunning Recreation Center. 

Jackson also said the plan is creating anxiety because it pushes for systematic change.

The plan, which was introduced in the Ohio Legislature this week, seeks changes in work rules such as seniority, tenure, evaluations and compensation. It also seeks partnerships with high performing charter schools.

There has been concern by the Cleveland Teachers Union over some of the issues in the plan. However, Mayor Jackson reported substantial progress following a meeting to resolve those issues, which lasted until 2 a.m.

"We reached not a complete agreement, but we went substantially to where we need to be," Jackson said.

In November, voters will be asked to pass a levy for Cleveland schools, which makes public support for the education plan all the more crucial.

"We have to have something in place that gives people confidence that business will not be as usual," Jackson said. "That there will be an opportunity to make substantial change to educate our children in a short period of time."

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