“EdChoice/Voucher/Ohio School Funding” a forum on Feb 25, 2020 (w/write up and video)


EdChoice/Voucher/Ohio School Funding Forum

February 25, 2020 7:00p.m.
The flyer is here
The forum summary is here
The video is here

25700 Science Park Dr #100 in Landmark Centre, Beachwood, OH 44122
with panelists:
•Chad L. Aldis, Vice President, Thomas B. Fordham Instit
•Stephen Dyer, Education Policy Fellow, Innovation Ohio
•Frank W. O’Linn, Ed.D, Sec for Education and Superintendent of Schools for the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland
•Barbara Shaner, Ohio Assoc of Schools Business Officials
Moderated by Patrick O’Donnell, Plain Dealer Education Reporter

Patrick O’Donnell, The Plain Dealer

Cosponsored by The Plain Dealer, CWRU Siegal Lifelong Learning and the League of Women Voters-Greater Cleveland
Corporate Sponsor: First Interstate Properties Ltd.

Voucher/EdChoice in Ohio January 2020

State Senator Peggy Lehner tells the state school board Tuesday she hopes legislators will be cautious in making quick changes to the state’s private school tuition voucher program. (cleveland.com 1/14/2020)

Voucher/EdChoice in Ohio January 2020

1. Read what LWV Schools advocate Susie Kaeser wrote:
Diversion of Ohio school dollars to non-public schools has become a raging river. It must stop: Susie Kaeser
Op-ed on January 10, 2020 cleveland.com

2. Read more about Vouchers and EdChoice in Ohio in these articles:

Change To Exploding Voucher Program Likely Coming, But Time Is Running Out
by Karen Kasler, Statehouse News Jan 17, 2020

Do vouchers need a big “fix” or a small one? Legislature leaves two weeks to decide
by Patrick O’Donnell 

With Feb. 1 deadline looming, Ohio House seeks to change school voucher program
by Laura Hancock, cleveland.com

 

Expansion of Ohio’s EdChoice voucher program puts state’s complicated school funding formula in spotlight
by Todd Dykes WLWT Cincinnati

Lawmaker Questions Republican Willingness to Correct Massive School Voucher Expansion

by Karen Kasler WKSU

Dublin, Upper Arlington, Worthington schools ‘under-performing’? New system to expand Ohio vouchers flags even top-tier suburban public schools

by Anna Staver Columbus Dispatch

 

Heights Schools Ask For Help Fighting Voucher Program Losses
The Cleveland Heights-University Heights School District lost $4.2 million to voucher deductions in 2019, one school official said.
By Chris Mosby, Patch

Larry Householder should aim for nothing less than a truly comprehensive Ohio school-funding fix

By Editorial Board, cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer

 

Editorial: Revisit rules to make school voucher program more rational
Columbus Dispatch Editorial Board

 

Increase in private school tuition vouchers is costing districts – and soon you
By Patrick O’Donnell The Plain Dealer

3. More from Susan Kaeser
Voucher Update
Rural and urban interests are frequently at odds when Ohio’s lawmakers assert their interests. This division no longer applies to school vouchers.  

Starting with the 2020 school year, every member of the state legislature will represent at least one school district that must use local funds to pay for students to attend a private school under Ohio’s EdChoice voucher program. 

Because test scores drive eligibility and scores reflect income, the first victims of the voucher laws were high poverty districts – urban districts.  

But new laws – inserted in the new state budget without public review – made the issue ubiquitous.  In just three years EdChoice districts grew from 39 to more than 400 – two-thirds of the state’s 612 school districts. 

The legislature needs to staunch the bleeding of public school budgets by ending the requirement that local districts pay for students they don’t educate at the expense of those they do. 

Legislatures can unite on this one! They can freeze the growth of vouchers, change rules defining Edchoice schools, only grant vouchers to students leaving a public school, and starting with this school year, pay for any new vouchers they approved but didn’t fund for 2019-20. 

4. Forum video:

“How do school vouchers affect our public schools and taxpayers?” Thursday March 14, 2019. 7:00-8:30pm 

This panel will present information on how Ohio’s school voucher policies impact the Cleveland Heights-University Heights schools, as well as other schools in Cuyahoga County and beyond. 

Panelists: Susie Kaeser, LWVO Lobby Corps and Hts Coalition for Public Education 

James Posch, Cleveland Hts-Univ. Hts (CH-UH) Board of Education 

Scott Gainer, CFO/Treasurer, CH-UH City School District 

Meryl Johnson, Ohio State Board of Education, District 11 

Moderator:Jayne Geneva, past chair Lay Finance Committee for the CH-UH Board of Education 

Heights Library Main Branch 2345 Lee Road Cleveland Hts 44118 Cosponsored by Heights Coalition for Public Schools and the CHUH Council of PTAs

5. CALL TO ACTION: LWV-Ohio request
League of Women Voters of Ohio

ADVOCACY WORKS! The legislature is beginning to respond to the backlash against public funds going to private schools. Have you contacted your legislator yet? Click on link

 

High quality preschool closes the achievement gap, experts say By JULIE HULLETT

 

High quality preschool closes the achievement gap, experts say
By JULIE HULLETT
The pdf is here

SHAKER HEIGHTS — Early childhood education has a huge impact on children’s success later in school and as adults, according to local experts at the “Closing the Achievement Gap: Preschool and Early Child Education” forum on Jan. 30.

This panel discussion, hosted by Shaker Heights Public Library and Shaker Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters at the Shaker Heights Main Library, included Executive Director of Starting Point Billie Osborne Fears and Director of the Cuyahoga County Office of Early Education/Invest in Children Rebekah Dorman.

Executive Director of the Early Childhood Enrichment Center Beth Price and Chief Academic Officer of the Shaker Heights City School District Marla Robinson were also on the panel and Sharon Broussard, former editorial writer for The Plain Dealer, served as the moderator.

“There has been research that documents, especially for kids who are coming from less advantaged backgrounds, that a high quality early care and education experience helps level the playing field for them,” Dr. Dorman said. “The research has been a game changer for us because it demonstrates that it’s an investment that is not [only] socially just, it is a smart thing to do from an economic perspective.”

Value of preschool

Preschool not only gives students a foundation for their kindergarten through 12th grade education, but it also develops necessary social and emotional skills, according to Ms. Price. She said that the Early Childhood Enrichment Center (ECEC), located on Sussex Road in Shaker Heights, focuses on children’s social and emotional needs so they can feel good about themselves, be socially adept and express themselves to other people.

Ms. Price also said that the ECEC is diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, background and socioeconomic status. At Ms. Price’s ECEC center, 90 percent of the children were ready for language and literacy, as measured by the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment, which is administered by the Ohio Department of Education.

Dr. Robinson said that there is a strong correlation between early educational experiences and a student’s success in a school setting. Expectations for students are much different now than in the past, she said.

“The best thing we can do to set them up for success in the k-12 setting is high quality preschool,” according to Dr. Robinson.

Cost barrier

Despite the importance of early childhood education, the panelists said that cost is still a barrier to many families. Ms. Broussard noted that the average cost of quality childcare is $8,600 per year. She asked the panelists to first define what makes childcare “quality” or not and explain why the cost is so high.

Ms. Fears described Step Up to Quality, a five-star quality rating and improvement system administered by the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. All early childhood education programs and preschool special education programs are mandated to participate in the rating and earn a 3, 4 or 5 to maintain state funding. She said that the rating was developed to help inform parents on the quality of different programs and provide support for education programs. Ms. Fears added that the teachers are key to the success of the program.

“There are several things that we know from the research. The most important indicator really rests with the teacher,” she said. “If they are educated in early childhood development and understand how children grow and develop…children will do quite well.”

Furthermore, preschool programs are costly, she said, because the administrators are trying to offer competitive wages and benefits to recruit and retain quality teachers. However, the turnover rate is high because the teachers can earn a higher salary at a public school district.

Dr. Robinson said that the Shaker Heights City School District offers preschool scholarships based on the family’s eligibility for free or reduced price meals and offers a payment plan. Ms. Price said that ECEC accepts students on childcare subsidies whose parents have a low income but are either working or in school.

“The state pays for part of their childcare and they pay a copay. They don’t pay us as much as we would get from a private pay individual but we feel that it’s important that everybody has that access to quality early care and education,” Ms. Price said. “We really try to make it for everyone.”

She added that ECEC is also part of Cuyahoga County’s universal prekindergarten program, so the county pays for a portion of the tuition. Ms. Fears said that middle class families are often hit the hardest since they do not qualify for the same financial assistance that low income families do.

“We feel confident that we’re delivering the gold standard of quality,” Dr. Dorman said of the universal prekindergarten program, which includes 67 sites across the county.

The panel discussed a variety of other topics, including recruiting minority students to preschool programs and engaging the parents. Dr. Robinson said that Shaker Heights schools are working strategically to seek out low income and underrepresented families to join preschool programs.

Dr. Dorman also spoke on community engagement, noting that the county Office of Early Childhood/Invest in Children is building a two generation approach to support the children and the parents’ needs. For example, the parents could use resources for further education and career exploration.

The panelists reminded the audience that many services for early childcare and prekindergarten are provided by the health and human services levy, which is on the March 17 primary ballot. If passed, the 4.7-mill levy will replace the current 3.9-mill levy. It would cost the property owner an additional $41 per $100,000 of property value from 2021-2028.

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“School Funding in Ohio: The Possibilities and Challenges of Creating a Solution” Feb 10, 2020 at Heights High

School Funding in Ohio: The Possibilities and Challenges of Creating a Solution
Monday February 10, 2020 7:00p.m.
Cleveland Heights High School, 16263 Cedar Road
w/Representative John Patterson (D-Jefferson) and Bill Phillis, Executive Director of the Ohio Coalition for Equity & Adequacy of School Funding

School funding in Ohio has been deemed unconstitutional for over 20 years.
 
Rep. Patterson (D – Jefferson) and Rep. Bob Cupp (R-Lima) led a three-year process to address the shortcomings of Ohio’s school funding system. HB 305 is now making its way through the legislature.
 
In the 1997 DeRolph decision, the Ohio Supreme Court found Ohio’s funding system unconstitutional. Bill Phillis, Executive Director of the Ohio Coalition for Equity & Adequacy of School Funding, the organization that brought the lawsuit, will provide the history of Ohio’s funding lawsuit and an overview of the constitutional issues that need to be solved.
 
Rep. Patterson will address the challenges in defining a realistic estimate of the costs of education, in determining how much state aid is required and distributing it fairly, and in garnering enough public and lawmaker support for necessary changes.
State Representative Janine Boyd, will introduce the experts and participate in the question and answer portion of the meeting.
 
Event sponsors are Heights Coalition for Public Education, League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland, Reaching Heights, CHUH PTA Council, NE Ohio Friends of Public Education, the Cleveland Heights Teachers Union, CH-UH Board of Education.
 

How do school vouchers affect our public schools and taxpayers? a forum on 3/14/19


The Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters of
Greater Cleveland present a forum:

How do school vouchers affect our
public schools and taxpayers?

Thursday. March 14, 2019, 7 pm
Heights Libraries Lee Road Branch
2345 Lee Rd in Cleveland Heights
The flyer is here
Here is the video from the forum

This panel will present information on how Ohio’s school voucher policies impact the Cleveland Heights-University Heights schools, as well as other schools in Cuyahoga County and beyond.

Panelists include:
Susie Kaeser, LWVO Lobby Corps and Heights Coalition for Public Education

James Posch, Cleveland Heights-University Heights (CH-UH) Board of Education

Scott Gainer, CFO/Treasurer, CH-UH City School District

Meryl Johnson, Ohio State Board of Education, District 11 Moderator:

Jayne Geneva, past chair Lay Finance Committee for the CH-UH Board of Education

Cosponsored by Heights Coalition for Public Schools and the CHUH Council of PTAs

Ohio’s school report cards: What do they really tell us? a forum on August 29, 2018


The Plain Dealer preview story is here
The flyer is here
Here’s the video from the forum

Wednesday August 29, 2018 7:00-8:30pm

“Ohio’s school report cards: What do they really tell us? What should they?: 
A discussion about how we evaluate our schools”
moderated by Patrick O’Donnell, Plain Dealer Education Reporter

Panelists:
Chad Aldis, Vice President for Ohio Policy and Advocacy | Thomas B. Fordham Institute

Dr. Talisa Dixon, Superintendent Cleve Hts/Univ/ Hts Schools

Stephen Dyer, Education Policy Fellow, Innovation Ohio

Lisa Woods member Ohio Board of Education (Medina area)

Cost: Free & Open to the Public
Cleveland Heights High School Small Auditorium
13263 Cedar Rd, Cleveland Heights, OH 44118


Patrick O’Donnell

Cosponsored by
Cleveland Heights University Heights PTA Council, Case Western Reserve University Siegal Lifelong Learning Program, League of Women Voters-Greater Cleveland, Cleveland.com/Plain Dealer

Corporate sponsor: First Interstate, Ltd.

Early childhood education still the best ticket out and up for poor, inner-city Cleveland youth: Brent Larkin 9/18/15

Early childhood education still the best ticket out and up for poor, inner-city Cleveland youth: Brent Larkin

Silvana Ferri, adult at center, receives a group hug from kids at the Cleveland Children’s Academy in October 2010 after the surprise announcement that she’d won a national $10,000 Early Childhood Educator Award.

(Thomas Ondrey, The Plain Dealer, File, 2010)

In his powerful eulogy of Louis Stokes, the Rev. Otis Moss Jr. repeatedly marveled that the longtime congressman was able to “rise above his circumstances,” escaping a life of poverty for one filled with memorable accomplishments.

The single most important requirement to rise above those circumstances, to earn that ticket out of life in the projects, was education.

Lou and Carl Stokes both spoke often of their mother, Louise, and her relentless focus on the subject.

“My mother had scrubbed floors, cleaned clothes and served dinners in order to make a life for us,” recalled Stokes, in an interview at his home just a month before his death Aug. 18 at the age of 90. “When you felt those cold hands and calluses, you began to understand what she was trying to say to us in terms of getting an education.”

It’s a common theme, especially among successful minorities who grew up poor.

Former Cleveland City Council President George Forbes, the last of eight children born in a segregated Memphis, talks similarly of his mother — “she was a great lady; to this day, I miss my mother” — sending her children north, where they would have a better chance to earn an education beyond high school.

And though a mother’s obsession with the future of her children is hardly unique to any culture, for children who grow up in poverty — especially black children — history tells us that education is pretty much the only way out.

The evidence is overwhelming. Consider the most successful black elected officials of the last 50 years:

Virgil Brown, Lloyd Brown, Charles Carr, Forbes, Marcia Fudge, Frank Jackson, Leo Jackson, Perry Jackson, Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Peter Lawson Jones, Arnold Pinkney, the Stokeses, George White and Mike White.

Every one of them went to college. Most earned two degrees. Lawson Jones went to Harvard. Mike White was the first black student body president of Ohio State University.

Over time, Mayor Frank Jackson’s school reform plan — with a huge assist from the Cleveland Foundation, the Gund Foundation and corporate leaders — will bring incremental improvements in student performance. There are more good schools in Cleveland today than there were four years ago.

Last year’s statewide report cards showed that Cleveland school students were learning a bit more. Nevertheless, Cleveland still ranked a dismal 607 out of the 610 districts.

That same report card showed that nine of the state’s 14 worst-performing school districts are in Northeast Ohio. Six of the 14 are in Cuyahoga County.

This year’s statewide report cards are likely to provide more documentation that efforts to fix Cleveland schools are enjoying a degree of success. But expecting “transformational” results anytime soon is unrealistic, especially given Cleveland’s daunting poverty rate.

The 1970 census found that 17.1 percent of Cleveland’s 750,903 residents lived below the poverty line. A census update issued last year estimated that 35.4 percent of Cleveland’s 389,521 live below the poverty line.

So, while the city’s population is barely half what it was 45 years ago, its poverty rate has more than doubled.

I’ve been on this soapbox for a decade now, but the single best investment Cuyahoga County can make in its future is a massive investment in early childhood education.

Free, high-quality preschool for needy 3- and 4-year-olds, coupled with intensive parental mentoring and effective programs to reduce the alarming rate of births out of wedlock, might be the only way out.

History tells us County Executive Armond Budish is no risk-taker. But I believe Budish has concluded that a huge expansion of early childhood education should be his signature accomplishment as county executive.

If Budish wants to leave a legacy of change and accomplishment, he’ll ignore his cautious instincts and seize the moment.

So staggering is the cost of our underinvesting in the education of poor children that economists of all political persuasions, including Nobel laureate James Heckman, have concluded that quality preschool will, over time, save taxpayers trillions.

And Port Clinton native Robert Putnam, former dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, argues in his phenomenal best-seller, “Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis,” that “to ignore these kids violates our deepest religious and moral values” and “undermines our democracy and perhaps even our political stability.”

“Our Kids” should be required reading for every elected official. Members of Gov. John Kasich’s administration should have read it last year, before squashing a budget proposal by state Sen. Peggy Lehner to increase funding for high-quality preschool by $100 million.

That’s the Team Kasich way. If it’s not their idea, it can’t possibly be a good one.

“Of all the things we can do, the biggest single one is early childhood education,” Putnam said in an interview this spring.

With it, thousands of Cuyahoga County’s poor kids might just have a shot. Without it, most probably won’t.

A proud man, Lou Stokes enjoyed all the deserved attention that came his way late in life. But my guess is he’d gladly take his name off all those buildings that bear it in exchange for an investment that offers the poor kids in Cuyahoga County an opportunity to rise above their circumstances and lead better lives.

Brent Larkin was The Plain Dealer’s editorial director from 1991 until his retirement in 2009.

To reach Brent Larkin: blarkin@cleveland.com

THE OHIO BOARD OF EDUCATION aka The State School Board a forum on Monday Sept 25

 

THE OHIO BOARD OF EDUCATION
aka The State School Board
How can they help us? How can we help them?

NEW DATE: Monday, September 25, 2017 7–8:30 pm (formerly Aug 22)
Free & Open to the Public Shaker Heights Main Library
16500 Van Aken Blvd, Shaker Heights, OH 44120

The flyer is here   Library link is here

Video from forum is here:

Panelists:
Meryl Johnson, Member, Board of Education

Peggy Lehner, Ohio Senator (R-6) Chair, Senate Standing Committee on Education

Mary Rose Oakar, Former Member, Board of Education

The purpose of this program is to let parents and the entire community know what the State Board of Education does, its relationship to the Ohio legislature and most importantly, how the public can help our elected officials, on both the State School Board and the legislature be more effective.

Co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland and Shaker Heights Public Library
FOR MORE INFORMATION: teachingcleveland@earthlink.net

  

From Desegregation to School Choice: How the Civil Rights Era Influenced the Cleveland Schools of Today Ideastream 11/15/2017

From Desegregation to School Choice: How the Civil Rights Era Influenced the Cleveland Schools of Today- Ideastream 11/15/2017

The link is here

For millions of children across the country, where they go to school is largely determined by where they live. Public school districts have historically assigned students to schools located in or near their neighborhoods.

Cleveland is trying a different approach by integrating school choice into its district model, but you could say the city’s school choice movement began in the 1960s, a time of racial tension that led to the Cleveland school system we see today.

Cleveland Leadership in the 1960s

George Forbes is one of the most prominent names in modern Cleveland history. Elected to city council in 1963, Forbes was one of several black politicians who led Cleveland through the nation’s Civil Rights Era, and through the fall out of desegregation in the city’s schools.

“I hadn’t been in office, but three or four months and we were confronted with this big issue of equality in schools,” Forbes said.

At the time, there were nearly 135,000 students in the district. Black schools throughout the city were overcrowded, but instead of integrating school populations, the district chose to build new ones – keeping black children isolated.

“The Board of Education had taken the position that they were going to build new schools and decided that Stephen E. Howe was one of the places they were going to build schools,” Forbes explained.

During its construction, Stephen E. Howe Elementary School, in the Glenville neighborhood that Forbes represented, became the site of protests led by civil rights activists.

On April 7, 1964, 27-year-old white protestor Rev. Bruce Klunder was killed as he and others laid themselves in front of and behind the tracks of a bulldozer at the construction site.

Klunder’s death slowed the school’s completion, but it didn’t stop it, and racial tensions grew, Forbes said, as African Americans protested and boycotted more black schools.

“It came from people, the groundswell,” he said. “We don’t want the school. We’re not going to go there.”

More than a decade later, a federal court ordered Cleveland to bus kids into other neighborhoods to achieve racial balance in the schools.

School Choice Comes to Cleveland

Cleveland Metropolitan School District CEO Eric Gordon said the decision resulted in the first instance of school choice in the city: white flight and wealth flight from the district into the surrounding suburbs.

“It was a tough form, right?” Gordon said. “I had to make a choice as a parent whether I would send my child to the assigned school across the city for integration purposes, or whether I would choose to pay for a parochial or private school, or whether I would choose to move out of the city.”

“It was absolutely a form of choice,” he added.

The exodus of white, middle income families led to a massive decline in enrollment in Cleveland schools. Between 1980 and 1990, CMSD went from 92,000 to 69,000 students. That decline strained resources and concentrated poverty in the district.

After years of mismanagement and financial turmoil, legislation in the mid-90s led to the introduction of school vouchers in Cleveland—one of the first cities in the country to incorporate the form of choice that give children public funds to attend a private school.

Then came charters, which Gordon said led to the departure of another 10,000 kids from the district.

“All while the school district was saying we will assign you to xyz school,” Gordon said. “You don’t have any choice inside the district.”

Then Comes ‘The Cleveland Plan’

Gordon’s tenure as CEO and the implementation of a new education reform plan—known as The Cleveland Plan—marked a change in that culture.

Implemented five years ago, The Cleveland Plan allowed parents to send their children to any school in the district, including CMSD-sponsored charters.

District enrollment is up for the first time in 40 years, Gordon said, to 39,000 students and achievement is starting to follow.

“Families were choosing. They had been choosing for decades. The only place they weren’t choosing was CMSD because we were saying you shouldn’t be allowed to choose and we were saying we will assign you where you will go to school, very much like traditional school districts across the country have always done,” Gordon said.

“Our notion was, if families are choosing, let’s get into the choice game, let’s compete, let’s be part of the choice,” he added.

Does Choice Lead to Academic Success?

In the majority minority district, CMSD’s scores on state report cards are up, but its overall grade is an F.

The four-year graduation rate has increased and so has the number of K through 3rd grade students reading at grade level, but when you break down the scores by race, the numbers tell a different story.

A quarter of African American students in the district are meeting English Language Arts learning goals compared to about half of their white peers. The rates are almost identical when it comes to math, and only marginally better for the district’s Hispanic population.

Dr. William Sampson of DePaul University does not believe choice leads to academic success for minority students. Nationwide, Sampson said vouchers, charters, and other forms of choice have resulted in a new surge of segregation in the education system that’s fueled poor academic outcomes.

White, middle-income parents have the means to take advantage of options, he added, leaving minority and low-income students behind, students who need more resources to succeed.

“It’s not that the presence of white kids has some sort of magic power over the quality of education,” Sampson explained. “Unfortunately, white folks aren’t that great.”

“It’s that the resources typically follow white kids, whether they be financial resources, [or] student support services.”

Choice and Competition in the Classroom

But it’s not just the loss of resources that Sampson said hurts minority students in this era of school choice. It’s the loss of opportunity for a child to compete, Sampson said, and overcome the racism and the inferiority they’re taught by society.

“When you grow up next door to a kid, or in the next classroom or the next row in a classroom, and you’re a black kid and you’re doing better in class than that white kid, then you start to question whether or not you are inherently inferior,” Sampson explained.

“You realize that you can do just as well as this white kid,” he said. “That dispels that self-hatred, and that’s critical in our society.”

That’s what black Clevelanders wanted in the 1960s, Forbes said, a mixing of races in schools that would help all children learn they were more alike than different.

But Forbes said the city’s first experience with school choice—the white flight of the Civil Rights era– is still evident in Cleveland public schools today.

Did Integration Work?

The current state of the district makes it difficult for Forbes to believe that minority students are any better off than they were when he attended a segregated Memphis school during his youth, either because of the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown versus Board of Education decision that ended legal segregation in public schools, or the fight he helped lead for integration.

“It didn’t work,” Forbes said of Cleveland’s desegregation struggle. “If I had to do it again, I would not have done it.”

“But this was part of the times,” he went on. “It was happening all over the country. Education was at an apex and that was what black folks demanded, but we did not get…we got the Supreme Court decisions. We got those things, but when you look back at it, it is what it is.”

Gordon disagreed with both Sampson and Forbes. With Sampson on the outcomes Cleveland children are achieving, and with Forbes on the success of the city’s Civil Rights struggles.

“Have we achieved the outcome yet that we desire for every kid? No,” he said. “I would say that the system that I’m running is not yet what I want for every child, a black child, a white child, a Hispanic child.”

“But,” he added, “we are actively working on it because of the really tough decisions that George Forbes and his peers made decades ago.”

Gordon said choice works for Cleveland, but the legacy of segregation, of inequity in the school system is a battle the district could face for years to come.