CMSD--the sad truth (and no one is paying attention)

Submitted by lmcshane on Mon, 05/07/2012 - 07:52.

I wish I wrote this comment to the PD's soft peddle "in support of teachers" (gee gosh, GCP just figured out they NEED the teachers to push support for a levy...):

tranche May 06, 2012 at 7:09AM


Within this article there are two messages. The first, of course, is another call by the Plain Dealer to pass a school levy.

The less obvious message is that when the schools do have money they spend much of it on administrators and programs and bureaucratic activities that have little or nothing to do with the day to day business of teaching.

Without a doubt there are hard working and personal sacrificing teachers who are working against great odds to touch the lives of inner-city children.

Unfortunately their union does not openly condemn the administrating of the schools and the waste of money on that administration.

The best example--now nearly forgotten--is that an administrator called a linkage coordinator was paid $191,000 per year. While having an affair with one of the persons she supervised she gave that individual a $10,000 raise. Did the teachers union show their outrage? No!

Still another example of waste and corruption would be the story of Ruby Weems. Her charter school was closed for extreme financial mismangement. After the demise of her charter school Ms Weems was hired by the Cleveland City Schools at $70,000 per year.

These are stories we know about. How many more such examples could Mark Naymik find if he truly wanted to expose the mess in our school system.

The Plain Dealer has a obligation to expose the waste and corruption with the same commitment they have for the passage of a levy.


Tranche on CMSD--the enemy is US

The Plain Dealer has a obligation to expose the waste and corruption with the same commitment they have for the passage of a levy.


While one man goes on a hunger strike to protest corruption--another Cleveland writer reflects on why WE look away--see the May Cleveland Magazine for the article by Michael D. Roberts.

Greater Cleveland Congregations

Dear Mr. Lipman,

At some point in time, hopefully in the very near future, I/we would like to have an in depth discussion with you, and any other members of GCC, regarding your "blind and unbridled  support" for Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and his "Scheme." The reason for making this statement is because HB 525 is "NOT" an education reform plan, but rather, is a political re-enactment of HB 269, a "Ponzi Scheme", or a union busting effort that has "absolutely nothing" to do with improving the "academic performances" of CMSD students!!!

You and GCC's Education Action Alert (team/committee) should "Cease and Desist your destructive efforts" directed at CMSD,"veiled as churches trying to help!!" By the way, do you live in the City of Cleveland? Most of GCC's members reside outside Cleveland city limits, don't they? Maybe not, however, I/we suspect that most of your members pay taxes in other cities in Cuyahoga county and you and them should spend more time "politicking and lobbying" for improvements in education in your on school district/s!!

Your letters and lobbying efforts for Cleveland schools are "highly UN-welcomed, unsolicited, and unwanted!!" Then again your blind political support for Mayor Jackson appears to be the organizations primary political motivation!

Would you and your members be as supportive of the mayors "Ponzi Scheme on education in Cleveland if the 'Scheme' affected your school district/s the same way it will further destroy ours?" Or would you "OPPOSE" his "Scheme" with the same "vigor" that you and your members "OPPOSED" HB 136!!! Think about that "FACT?"

I/We certainly hope that you will find the time, "soon," in your schedule to meet and discuss this very important matter with some "very knowledgeable" Cleveland tax payers, teachers, educational experts, parents, students, politicians, etc. In the event you meet with us you will see that we "will not allow" politicians of any persuasion to continue to "destroy" the future in education for the youth and children in this urban setting!!

I/We look forward to hearing from you very soon regarding this very important matter - the future of Cleveland's children!!!

Thanking you in advance.


Gerald C. Henley, Founder & Spokesperson
The Urban Education Strategy Group
Pres. Henley Educational Consultants            

Subject: Education Action Alert: Letters to Legislators for CMSD Reform


Date: Wed, 2 May 2012 16:05:45 -0400


Now that GCC has publicly endorsed Mayor Jackson’s CMSD reform legislation, it is time for us to take action.  As you can see from this article in today’s Plain Dealer, debate in Columbus on the legislation (House Bill 525) has begun.

We are asking all congregations to organize hand-written letters to our state representatives and senators encouraging them to support this legislation without any additional changes.  These letters should be sent out by Wednesday, May 9 at the latest in order to have maximum impact.
As the above article explains, there is currently an effort to weaken the legislation by undermining CMSD’s ability to block bad charter schools from opening and draining resources from CMSD.  The Mayor’s office has asked that our message to legislators specifically promotes the legislation without such changes. 
You can identify your State Representative and Senator by plugging in your zip code at this website.  Click through on the names of your Rep/Senator for their mailing addresses. 

The most effective messages to legislators are handwritten, personal, and to the point.  Here are a few samples that you can personalize:
Dear Representative X,
I am writing to urge your support of Mayor Jackson’s CMSD school reform legislation (HB 525) without additional changes.  I am a member of Greater Cleveland Congregations, and collectively we have talked with hundreds of parents, students, teachers, administrators, social workers, and others connected to CMSD.  We believe that this legislation will help ensure a better education for the children in our community. The success of our region depends on strong Cleveland schools.  Thank you for your support. 

Dear Senator Y,
I am a (Parent/Student/Teacher/Administrator/) in Cleveland Schools.  I am writing to urge your support of Mayor Jackson’s CMSD school reform legislation (HB 525) without additional changes.   This legislation will give our district the tools it needs to improve education for every student.  I am joining with thousands of others in my (church/synagogue/mosque) and Greater Cleveland Congregations to speak out for this urgently-needed reform.  Thank you for your support.

Education Captains, please make sure to circulate this to your congregation’s education team and if possible organize a table in worship services this weekend where your members can write these letters.  Please respond to this e-mail to let us know your plan and what GCC staff can do to support you.  Our one-page summary of the reform is here for you to use in explaining the initiative.
If you are not an education team captain, please contact your congregation's education team captain to confirm that you have sent out these important letters (and if you are not sure who that is, just reply to this e-mail).  Thank you for all for your leadership and swift action on behalf of Cleveland students.


Ari Lipman

Gerald Henley and the cause

Thank you again for taking time out of your busy schedule to hear the concerns of parents and community voters that represent the opposition of Mayor Frank Jackson's plan and House Bill 525 and Senate Bill 335. Per the end of our conversation you ask for five bullets to present To the Speaker of the House as a recap. Here are the following points:




> We recommend, the amendment by State Senator Shirley Smith, sponsored by Tom Sawyer, member of the Senate Education committee to abolish mayoral control. This is our recommendation whether this bill and/or local levy(that we do not support)passes or not.




> We recommend that the transformation alliance be omitted from the plan and this bill. We don't recommend a dual education system on one source of money. We believe language of the bill should include that public dollars go to public schools only. And elimination of sponsorship so that all charters and community schools must apply for public funding directly to ensure standards are being properly met.




> We recommend that there are at least four standing committees established by the Cleveland Board of Education and the Cleveland Municipal School District. The four commits are as followed: Education, Finance, Facilities use, and Parents, Students, and Community.




> We recommend that language be included in the Bills that The Cleveland Municipal School's administrative building not be available for sale. And that any property own by the public through the Cleveland Municipal School District Not be sold for a dollar nor prioritized to be sold to charter schools first but instead if property is to be sold it shall be sold to the highest bidder, particularly when we our in such grave financial troubles.




> We recommend that Cleveland Municipal School District has no special state legislation that isolates our educational system from how the rest of the state educational systems are legislated to run.




> Thanks again to you and the Speaker of the House for allowing our concerns to be air and we look forward to your response in the near future.




> Sincerely,






> Coalition of Friends of Education,


> Donna Walker-Brown


> Gerald Henley

CMSD: The SAD truth

See and support:


In November 2012, Mayor Frank G. Jackson and several public officials, law makers community advocates are pushing for a Cleveland school levy on the November 2012 Ballot. The problem with this levy is three fold.

First, it is clear and obvious that the way our schools are funded is unconstitutional. Home owners (alone) should not be responsible for educating Cleveland’s young people. A fair amount of Cleveland home owners do not have school age children. To target a
population suffering from economic turmoil is a travesty. It is unbelievable to expect anyone to take this levy seriously. Home owners are barely able to pay their mortgages and to financially bully that into a local school taxed mandate is not a fiscal responsible practice. To date, it has not been explained why home owners should be responsible for a 16 million dollar deficit that was caused by poor risk management, meager leadership and pitiable oversight. To issue Cleveland Municipal School District a bailout is irresponsible. It’s not about the children while lay- offs are still occurring Within the district. Simultaneously, CMSD recently hired a Chief Academic Officer with an annual salary of $200,000. This is an apparent contradiction to the proposed financially strapped district and clearly exposes a need for best practices.

Secondly, risk management over haul is warranted. CMSD is a public entity. The District has performed poorly in this area. As such, the district has neglected to employ drill down methods to understand and publicly explain how spending spiraled aimlessly. The continue failure to manage and measure public funds should be internally investigated by an outside non political organization. The institution of claw backs ranging from raises, bonuses and promotions should be examined and established. Those that operated under the concept of rational ignorance and incompetence should be engaged in disruptive transformation. The effects of educational hiccups will aid the
transformation with slight interruption. This will command new leadership, executive and mid-level management accountability, openness, compliance and transparency while assuring tax payers that real change is under way. Home owners need to know how the district will emerge from fiscal malfeasance and what will preclude future losses and poor performance?

Lastly, Mayor’s Jackson’s appointed school board should perform as advocates for the Mayor, Tax Payers and the community. Tough questions must be driven for real solutions and results. The appointed board must conduct themselves as fiduciary agents and Mayor Jackson must allow them to act as such. To do otherwise is a bully approach to continuous failure. A levy is not a determinate factor for fixing our school district. Throwing good money after bad financial decisions, amount to insurmountable financial losses, and public deception.

To deceive the public by edging law makers to pass an education transformation bill that will less likely benefit the children of Cleveland is shameful. It would have been plausible to introduce new and inviting human capital (who live in the district) measures to talk about what really needs to be fixed before asking a targeted few for more money. It is a granted assumption that we will not produce smarter children with a levy passage, however we will see growth in political manipulation and a strong decline of public trust. Tax Payers merit a workable model. Home owners deserve risk management preventative measures – a risk management overhaul.