CLEVELAND - Speaking during a crowded luncheon at the City Club of Cleveland Thursday, Eric Gordon didn't sugar-coat the future of Cleveland schools.
"It's do or die" time for Cleveland Schools said the CEO of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.
Gordon's State of the Schools speech came the day after preliminary data from the Ohio Department of Education shows that Cleveland Schools are expected to fall into Academic Emergency. It means a possible grade of "F" on the school district's report from last school year.
The news hits just as early voting begins Oct. 2. That's when absentee voters can begin to vote on whether to pass Issue 107, which is a 15 mill school levy.
Gordon repeatedly said Thursday that passing the levy is crucial to the future success of Cleveland schools and it's nearly 41,000 students.
Gordon said money from the levy would not only help bring back programs that have been dropped, but would also help the school system change the school year schedule, allowing students to learn more and to retain what they learn.
Gordon supports students going to school for 10 weeks then taking three-week breaks. This would be repeated four times a year, doing away with three months of traditional summer vacation.
Gordon said Cleveland's new school plan which is now state law also gives the school system the ability to hire and fire teachers based on performance instead of tenure.
Gordon said it's important for Cleveland schools to recruit and hire teachers that want to be in Cleveland, instead of looking to add to their resume.
"Our kids deserve better. We need to go find the great teachers and principals that are out there and just don't tolerate our community but they love our city, they love our kids and they are driven to improve the quality of education in our schools," Gordon said.
Gordon said success of students and the school system is also contingent on parental involvement.