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Cleveland schools heading for 'Academic Emergency'

5:43 AM, Sep 27, 2012   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- A partial report card for the Cleveland schools has been released and the results aren't what anyone hoped.

Scores remain flat for a second year in a row, which means the district will fall into academic emergency.

Just starting the school year and Cleveland students and teachers are already facing an uphill battle, partial state achievement results indicate.

In 64 percent of tested subjects, student performance is lower than the previous year. In 36 percent of tested subjects, student performance is higher.

"We're seeing the painful results of not being able to even deliver the basics to our kids," school district CEO Eric Gordon said.

Gordon says overall scores are down 1.4 percent. It's a slight decrease but enough to throw the district into the lowest designation -- academic emergency.

"If we were 1.4 percent higher, I wouldn't be happy about it. Our scores are not good enough."

The performance review is a wake-up call. Gordon says it is the result of an underfunded district for too long.

"We cut $115 million. We increased class size and laid off 1,000 staff members," Gordon said.

Missing from the performance spread sheet is the district's attendance rate. The state auditor is investigating possible records tampering in other districts in Ohio.

That audit won't be completed until December. The school chief says he doesn't need a state investigation to tell him Cleveland's district needs improvement in that area as well.

The school CEO did share one silver lining in this gloomy picture. The district's graduation rate is up four percent.

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