last revised September 2016
Compact Document (PDF)
Compact Document (full text below)
Participation Agreement (PDF)
Participation Agreement (Word)
Sample Board Resolution (Word)
Compact Bylaws (PDF)
The Cleveland Education Compact (Compact) creates a framework through which members collaborate as partners in our city-wide effort to improve education for all students. Members of the Compact believe that Cleveland’s families deserve a broader choice of excellent schools. To that end, the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) and participating charters commit:
By signing this Compact, members agree to work together to improve education for all students in the City of Cleveland.
The Cleveland Education Compact builds upon the current efforts of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD), charter school leaders, and local civic leader, to improve education for all Cleveland children.
Building on Work Already Under Way
Ohio passed its charter law in 1998, and the first charter schools opened the following year. In the mid-2000s, CMSD began to recognize the valuable role charters could play and were playing in providing quality education to Cleveland children. CMSD sponsored its first charter school, the Entrepreneurship Preparatory School, in 2006. This school later became a founding member of the Breakthrough Schools network. In January 2007, in collaboration with the Cleveland Teachers’ Union, the district started Promise Academy, a 9th-12th grade credit recovery charter school. Currently, CMSD sponsors ten charter schools, more than any other district in the state.
Cleveland also has one of the largest charter market shares in the country. In the 2014-2015 school year, 57,000 students attended Cleveland’s public schools, with approximately 68% attending district schools and 32% attending charter schools. Ohio also has a very active sponsoring environment; there are more than ten sponsors contracting with more than sixty charter schools across Cleveland alone.
Despite the positive developments mentioned above, collaboration among CMSD and charter schools often occurred in silos, with partnerships forming between CMSD and a handful of charters, and with few charter-to-charter relationships formed.
The Cleveland Plan
In February 2012, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and CMSD Chief Executive Officer Eric Gordon presented the Cleveland Plan for Transforming Schools (Cleveland Plan) to Ohio’s governor and legislative leadership. The Cleveland Plan was developed by a broad range of stakeholders convened by the Mayor, including the Cleveland Metropolitan School District; the Cleveland Foundation; the George Gund Foundation; the Cleveland Teachers Union; the Greater Cleveland Partnership; and Breakthrough Schools, a charter school network based in Cleveland.
The goals of the Cleveland Plan are to ensure that every child in Cleveland attends a high-quality school and that every neighborhood has a multitude of great public schools from which families can choose, district or charter. The Cleveland Plan is based on the portfolio strategy, an emerging national model that focuses, among other things, on decentralization and performance-based accountability. The Portfolio Model is showing promising results in cities including New York, New Orleans, Chicago, Denver, and Baltimore.
Since the introduction of the Cleveland Plan in 2012, stakeholders have been working to ensure that the policy and financial conditions are in place to support the implementation of the Cleveland Plan. These efforts have resulted in critical developments including the adoption of a groundbreaking teachers’ contract (May 2013) and a voter approved four-year operating levy that provides a portion of money to charter schools who partner with CMSD (November 2012). CMSD is currently sharing levy proceeds with seventeen partner charter schools.
Who We Are: Creation of the Committee
During the summer of 2014, CMSD, in collaboration with the Breakthrough School and the Cleveland Foundation, received a $100,000 planning grant to create a district/charter Compact and join more than 20 other Compact cities across the country. The following year, with help from the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA), CMSD and Breakthrough identified charter school leaders representative of various types of schools (including an online school and a “mom and pop” school) and invited them to participate as members of the Cleveland Education Compact Steering Committee. The group began working in the spring of 2015 to develop a framework to expand collaboration by identifying focus areas that will benefit Compact participants and lead to increased high-quality education options for Cleveland’s children. The following organizations comprised the Steering Committee:
Cleveland Metropolitan School District
Breakthrough Charter Schools
Constellation Schools LLC
I CAN Schools
Ohio Connections Academy
During 2015, the Steering Committee met regularly to create the framework that will support the work of the Compact members going forward. Matters of governance and decision-making have been addressed along with challenges that exist within the Cleveland educational community as potential issues to be addressed through the Compact. The Steering Committee also communicated information regarding the work it was doing through events and social media in an effort to attract additional charter school participants.
This document represents the collaborative efforts of the Steering Committee.
The members of the Compact believe all students in the City of Cleveland can achieve and deserve the highest quality education. We engage with one another to eliminate barriers to collaboration and improve the ways we work together for the benefit of all students. The Cleveland Education Compact is guided by a set of agreed upon principles:
Guided by these principles, Compact participants will focus on the critical goal of improving education for all of Cleveland’s students through mutually beneficial work and strategies.
Executive Committee Voting Structure
Membership in the Compact
(For more on how to join the Cleveland Education Compact, see Appendix B)
Recruit & Formalize Charter Schools Participating in the Compact
Phase 1 Structure
Phase 2 Produce
Phase 3 Leverage
Advance Cleveland Education Compact Subcommittee Membership and Goals
Phase 1 Structure
Phase 2 Produce
Phase 3 Leverage
The members of the Cleveland Education Compact believe that families in the Cleveland community should have equitable access to high quality educational choices. We believe all students must learn the skills to be successful in our increasingly global society. Our Compact will form partnerships that will improve charter-to-charter and charter/district collaboration. As a result of our work, we will expand the portfolio of high quality options for families in Cleveland. Our goal is to establish and maintain successful partnerships between and among the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and charter schools that lead to better educational outcomes for all Cleveland students.
Cleveland Education Compact Signatories
We, the undersigned, agree to the terms of the Compact.
Eric Gordon, Chief Executive Officer, Cleveland Metropolitan School District
John Zitzner, Co-Founder, Breakthrough Schools & President of Friends of Breakthrough Schools
Rick Lukich, President, Constellation Schools
Marie Hanna, Superintendent, Ohio Connections Academy
Heather Stevens, Executive Director of School Accountability, I CAN SCHOOLS
Yocheved Belsky, Chief Administrative Officer, Virtual Schoolhouse
Appendix A - Subcommittee Focus Areas
The Steering Committee was initially tasked with identifying and prioritizing a handful of topics which it believed had potential for progress in the first year of the Compact. Subcommittees, made up of individuals from the organizations which sign-on to the Compact, will tackle these topics by developing a plan of action, seeking out applicable resources, and fostering collaborative changes.
In addition to the four areas listed below, there will be additional Standing Subcommittees whose focus may include topics such as governance, fund raising, and communications to help ensure productivity.
The Steering Committee recognizes and appreciates the idea that topics may change or be re-prioritized based on the progress of our collaboration and number of active participants. Additionally, new topics may be presented to the Executive Committee for consideration.
Other Potential Topics of Interest
Appendix B - Joining the Compact
INSTRUCTIONS FOR JOINING THE CLEVELAND EDUCATION COMPACT
Last Updated: December 2015
Thank you for your interest in joining the Cleveland Education Compact!
Your organization should proceed by following these two steps:
1. AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
Read, sign, & date the Participation Agreement (part B2) and email to firstname.lastname@example.org
2. BASED ON YOUR BOARD’S SCHEDULE
Modify the sample board resolution (part B3), obtain board approval and signatures, and email the signed resolution to email@example.com
B2. Participation Agreement
The participation agreement represents an intent to join the Compact. An organization must have its board pass a resolution affirming its intent to officially join. Please complete this Participation Agreement, sign, and return to firstname.lastname@example.org
Website (if applicable):
Point of Contact
Secondary Point of Contact
The undersigned hereby expresses an intent to join the Cleveland Education Compact, recognizing that participation is not official until the board of the organization has passed a resolution.
B3. Sample Board Resolution
2016-___ A RESOLUTION TO APPROVE CONTINUED EFFORTS OF THE CLEVELAND EDUCATION COMPACT, DISTRICT-CHARTER COLLABORATION
WHEREAS, _____________________ have/has been informed of the efforts to collaborate with Cleveland Metropolitan School District and other public charter schools within the city of Cleveland, and
WHEREAS, _____________________ and the Board of Directors believe the collaboration efforts are beneficial to the students we serve.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of ________________________ recognizes the importance of this work and will commit to supporting our organization’s involvement in the development and implementation of continued collaboration efforts and the work towards development of a Compact that will outline our commitments to collaboration to better educate the students we serve.