In the Spring, Governor Kasich appeared before the State Board of Education and literally begged them to approve the education package known as the “Cleveland Plan” for its focus on implementing major changes to state law to provide exemptions to the Cleveland School system.

The State Board politely ignored him.

Instead, the legislation made its way through the Ohio House and Senate over a period of weeks, ultimately passing without any additional funding as the General Assembly rushed to head off for Summer Break.

But the funding wouldn’t matter with such a comprehensive, airtight plan that had been so thoroughly crafted by the Cleveland Mayor and School District CEO, right?  Sure, Cleveland has a school levy on the ballot that will last four years, after which Mayor Frank Jackson virtually guaranteed success for “his” plan by telling residents they could let the levy expire if he hasn’t turned around the schools with his plan.

How odd is it, then, that this much-ballyhooed plan is requiring the school district to hire consultants, at the cost of over $200,000, to help the district actually figure out how to roll out this plan in the district?  As the Plain Dealer puts it, these consultants were hired to “put some flesh on the Cleveland Plan’s bare bones.”

Cleveland School’s CEO Eric Gordon, who helped create this plan that merited Kasich’s begging, explained the $214,000 consulting bill as follows:

“It’s intended to be a complete roadmap of how we move from where we are today.  It is my goal to have before the public a plan of how we’re going to do the work.”

So…when the plan was sold as a panacea for all of the ills of the Cleveland Schools by Governor Kasich, Mayor Frank Jackson, and State Senator Nina Turner, it didn’t actually include any sort of plan of how the work was actually going to be accomplished?

And along with the fact that this plan had no built-in direction, did the legislature know that the schools would be entering into a contract with an out-of-state consulting company, the same company who helped author the previous, and now-abandoned, Cleveland Plan $214,000?

What other major gaps in actual “reform” or expenses were hidden from the public as this not-quite-a-plan steamrolled through the Ohio legislature?  And with surprises like these, how will the leadership gain the trust of the local voters in order to convince them that the levy is needed?

Transparency is not supposed to be this cloudy.


  • yep, they are all stupid. Don’t need a Cleveland plan to know that this crap with funding goes on. And I am sooooo tired of consultants that tell you what you already know or what the TEACHERS who already are there could tell you. May be they should look at AKRON’s Turn Around Schools. When the numbers come out you will find at least one school in Akron that moved up 2 levels at least and maybe 3 depending. I am proud to say we have worked HARD with out a Cleavland plan and we will do better! So Columbus get off your arses and get done with that stupid thing with the attendance. You know the pretending that schools are deliberately changing their attendance to improve their scores. And let schools that are working hard on improving (the right way) get there just dues!

  • anastasjoy

    Greg, when you say “previous … Cleveland plan,” are you referring here to the 2010 “transformation” plan which was going to fix everything and mysteriously evaporated into thin air? It seems to me that this plan included two basic things: pie-in-the-sky ideas without funding and attacks on teachers. What am I missing?

  • So, Kasich pushes a plan that really isn’t a plan, because it needs consultants to plan out how to implement that plan so they can plan on how to get more money to from the taxpayer because the plan was supposed to SAVE the taxpayers money?

    That Kasich, he’s a mastermind ….. choke, gag, spasm…..

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