SHAME -Citizens Challenge CMSD Transformation Plan

Submitted by lmcshane on Wed, 03/03/2010 - 06:49.


Justice for all! Voters in 2001 passed a levy to support services IN THEIR NEIGHBORHOODS--Facilities plan has NOT equitably invested those monies and Transformation Plan will deny service to neighborhood schools.  

Denying service to the taxpayers who support the school system--by closing schools specifically in predominantly African-American neighborhoods is a gross civil rights violation.

Thank you Mr. Henley and Ms. Brown--Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

 Photo: Contractors protesting unfair labor practices by CMSD at Civil War Veterans Memorial on Public Square, Cleveland OH

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Challenge to Transformation Plan

I am off today and not surprised to find that the regime in NEO moved quickly to dispose the federal challenge to the CMSD Transformation Plan.  No usual court delays, no hassles--no surprise. Do any of these stories actual make the print edition?  By design--no, because the PD does not want history to reflect their administrative part in this gross crime.

Please see these comments--I did not write these comments:

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I think most parents and teachers are upset about the fact that they were not involved at all in the decision making. Sanders is sending a message that the views of his own teachers and parents are unimportant. The children and the teachers are the ones that will be affected the most by this transformation!!

If he is indeed going to close 18 schools, where will the teachers and students go? When will the students and teachers find out about their new assignments? How are the students going to get to their new schools? Will there be more bus drivers? Where will all of the secretaries and cafeteria workers go? What about the custodians?

Every year we start off to a mess. Teachers are transferred in and out. Schedules are not complete for weeks. Teaching assignments change two and three times (this is after school has already started!!!). Students come and go. Nothing really falls into place until October. And this is a NORMAL start of the school year!!! What's going to happen when all of these teachers, staff and students are now being sent to new schools? Sorry, but Cleveland is not known for being timely. We'll have a mess on our hands until Christmas!! It's already March. If this were to work, it should have been in place by now. Someone needs to ask Sanders how he's going to ensure that all teachers and students will be in their place the FIRST WEEK of school!!
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So you're saying that all of Ginn's students live in the Glenville area? I'd like to see the proof!
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Sanders wants to move the Ginn students to Glenville so they can play football legally. Students from charter schools are supposed to play football for their home school, but somehow Glenville ends up with all of the players from the Ginn Academy. Downtown looks the other way because Glenville gets media attention.

If Sanders really wanted the students to do well, he would:
-go back to block scheduling for schools that want it
-get rid of the dress code and the punishment for students who are out of dress code
-allow the teachers to work and plan the first day of school instead of going to a "come to jesus" prayer meeting that highlights Sanders and his cronies
-have a working attendance and tardy policy
-train teachers for the OGT after school instead of pulling them out of the classroom
-let the principals stay in the school building to do their jobs instead of pulling them out for day long meetings
-allow input from teachers and principals that have been in the district longer than he's been a CEO (and will be there after he cuts and runs)
-hire administrators with real experience instead of church friends and relatives with little or no experience
-taking into consideration that the school without entrance requirements will have lower test scores and lower attendance
-take into consideration that the best teachers can't help students who are not in the classroom

Ask any teacher in Cleveland and he will tell you, but Sanders doesn't want to listen to the people in the classroom. He only wants to hear his own dull voice...
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Our scores were a lot better under BBB. She made sure the kids were warm, fed and in the classroom! The first year Sanders came to Cleveland he jumped on the fact that the scores improved - that was a reflection of BBB's work, not his! At my school sending a kids to the office for calling the teacher a foul name gets him sent right back to class. If he's not in full uniform? You guessed it - in school suspension or home! Sanders' priorities are not in order. No student should be refused his education because of the clothes he is wearing!!!

Posted on Cleveland City Council opposes moving Ginn Academy on February 03, 2010, 6:22AM
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Sanders is a sham! I wish the Plain Dealer would expose him for the idiot he is! More kids get sent home or to in school suspension for being out of dress code than for poor behavior! They lose the important education they deserve because their shirt might not be tucked in or their pants are the wrong color. I know, some of you are going to say that these kids will have to wear a uniform for a job someday, but when kids are out of the classroom for an article of clothing we are not giving them the education they deserve. Some of these kids are without electricity or water and cannot always wear the uniform! I'm just glad they bothered to show up to school to get educated! I can teach a kid with an untucked shirt or a hoodie! I can't teach him if he's sitting in the suspension room with 80 other kids. When this whole dress code thing started, Sanders said that kids would not be suspended for being out of dress code! Guess what? Whenever a downtown administrator visits our building the only thing they talk about is the uniform! Are the shirts tucked in?? Not "how can we improve the attendance?" or "How can we increase academic achievement?" OGT scores have gone down, attendance has gone down and graduation rates have not changed at all! Why are we punishing kids for things that have no bearing on their education?? If the dress code really worked, our scores and attendance would have increased! They haven't!!

The purpose of the Ginn Academy was to help struggling young men achieve! It's worked! Why would you put them back in a school with girls when the whole model for Ginn Academy centered around being an all boys school??? Why should they have to move to Glenville to help out their student body? Isn't Glenville's principal accountable for the students academic achievement? This is just silly!

This guy has been in Cleveland for three years! Why did it take him three years to come up with a plan? What happened to all of the people he brought with him from Toledo? They've all jumped ship. They realized it's all about Sanders' ego.

Posted on Cleveland City Council opposes moving Ginn Academy on February 02, 2010, 7:26PM
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Polensek now knows how it feels to be a teacher in Cleveland! We never have a say in the crazy decisions that have been made!

What is really disturbing to me is that he blames everything on the teachers and doesn't hesitate to slam us in the press. Does he really think that taxpayers are going to give him more money when all he does is slam his own teachers??? Sanders needs a brain transplant fast!

thanks for that McShane

pretty durned informative.

Sanders not listening to teachers.  yep.  got a dose of that here, from a high school wrestling coach who also teaches.

so far as reassigning teachers, is that really going to happen?  thought this was another episode of reducing salary costs by reducing employees.

guess it's been a decade since the last en masse closing of schools.   teachers were in violation of their contract if they applied for another job but the CMSD did not notify teachers of their "new assignments" or lack thereof until it was too far into the summer to apply for teaching positions elsewhere.  

that does wonders for the morale of the workforce.



State of the City

  This afternoon, I delivered my fifth State of the City Address, entitledThe Pulse of a Brand New Day:

Seizing opportunity at this critical moment in time.  More than 700 stakeholders from Cleveland and the region joined me to hear about the challenges we’ve faced and the opportunities that are before us. Most importantly, we discussed the need to take action at thiscritical moment in Cleveland ’s history and to take advantage of the changes that the global economic crisis, county reform and educational transformation are bringing to our community.


Please click here to read my speech in its entirety.


Thank you for your continued support. I look forward to continuing to work with you to make Cleveland everything it can be and ought to be a great City at the heart of a great region.




Frank G. Jackson, Mayor

City of Cleveland


Mayor Jackson?

  Good question Jerleen--

This is probably not the

This is probably not the proper place to put this but, I was wondering if anyone has heard anything about Mayor Jackson and the City of Cleveland purchasing six or seven of the charter schools?

If there is any truth to this, it would explain why so many Cleveland Public Schools and being closed.  Would this not be a (almost illegal) conflict of interest?

Looking for input and thoughts.



And while were at it?? I would ask Mayor Jackson how he can allow Cleveland City Council to approve funding a boondoggle in Old Brooklyn for Kevin Kelley at the same time we are now asked to pay an additional tax for garbage collection, pay an additional storm water tax and the City is laying off critical safety forces and teachers??

my opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of my employer, my spouse, my cat, my neighbors, my extended family or anyone I happen to acknowledge on the street, bus, etc.

Garbage tax - just ticks me

Garbage tax - just ticks me off.  I know very well that City Council was aware when they approved this trash pick up tax that Social Security Recipients DID NOT get a cost of living raise in January.  Wouldn't the garbage tax be a cost of living raise? 

I'd like to know why our City is bankrupt.  There is no road repaving this year - of course, I do hear that the marathon runner's routes will get repaved.  I'm all for the runners but what about the taxpayers that have to drive on these "holey" streets everyday?  

We had a guest at the OSS meeting on Wednesday.  Independent U.S. Senator  Candidate  Hopeful Joe Gigante spoke to the membership for about 10 minutes and he and his assistant made a number of suggestions. 

We had just discussed the parking problems and he  thought we should all take our vehicles out once a month (bussiest night in Tremont) and strategically park them throughout the neighborhood to take up all the parking spaces early enough so that customers patronizing these businesses can't find a place to park.  He said we should call all our cousins, friends, etc., to pull this off.  Park it, lock it and get out and sit on the hood. 

It was also suggested that we organize and form a protest, carrying signs and walking up and down the business district.  Maybe we should do that on the morning of the marathon. 


Media release JBuster Board Mtg

  I think we need to fill out some media form to gain access with cameras to the CMSD school board meeting on Tuesday, March 9th.  Unless you already have one? Call me.

Ted Diadiun

Thank you for returning my call.  The story on the challenge to the CMSD Transformation Plan did run in the print edition on March 3--pg. B6.

No wonder I didn't see it.  It's in the bottom right corner--last page of the Metro section. Next to the splashy Travel Connection ad.  

If a school district is being charged with discrimination--in a horribly ethnically divided city--you would think it would merit a front page post, but that's just me...

Teachers+Parents +Students=TRUTH

Teachers, parents and students need to put their efforts together--this plan can be overturned.

Stay tuned for Round Two--Citizens versus District Transformation Plan.

Good coverage of entire CMSD story

Glad you are keeping your eye outgsoide NEO as it seems those outside NEO have a very great interest in us here. Good reporting Laura.

Disrupt IT

Wall St. Oligarchy and President Obama

  Updated 4-18-2010

Children are not widgets...

Do not lose hope.  There are still forces working behind the scenes to reveal the Transformation Plan for what it is--a takedown of the unionized Cleveland School District and a real estate game meant to depopulate the east side of Cleveland for future vacant property solutions. 

Priming the public so that the massive firings and layoffs can take place without recourse--and to continue the brainwashing that allows the public to be deluded into thinking that this is free enterprise at work for US!

Relive, for a moment, the air traffic controller strike under Reagan and be reassured that we can have great teachers for a salary of $20,000/year, just like we can have planes flown by novice pilots on food stamps.

Meanwhile, if you think that the takedown is only happening in "dying" cities like Cleveland--stop for a moment and look at the fallout in "growing" metropolitan regions like Austin, Texas.  You'd be surprised.  We're all due for a massive dose of reality soon. 

Perhaps, we should start reforming schools by eliminating the overpaid district administrators, who fail to understand basic math and equations.  Oligarchies are not stable government.  Oh...and yeah...Austin zombies are being fed the save the city through farming line, too--only they actually get to own their land. 


Update 7/15/2010

Daniel Burns sentencing...



Update April 13, 2011

Cornel West: Obama is ‘another black mascot’ of ‘Wall

Street oligarchs’

The United States became an oligarchy slowly, in plain sight, without need of conspiracies. A Supreme Court ruling in 1896 granted corporations more rights than individuals. From the mid-19th century to today, town councils, state legislatures, and the federal government have given railroads, steel companies, oil companies, and the like every break possible. The outcome was what most people wanted: jobs, money, progress. The U.S. had the biggest and best commercial enterprises in history. For a while, especially after World War II, Americans lived high: Our population, just 5% or 6% of the world's total, gobbled roughly 50% of the world's resources.


Civil War Monument recognized

The renovation of the Civil War monument on Public Square is recognized by Preservation Magazine.

Good news for Cleveland, but somewhat ironic given the erosion of our civil rights and of the public school system. 

This should be our speakers' corner.  I am glad that it has been renovated.  Now, we need to work on preserving and restoring REALNEO community.

FTR: Dan Burns


The school district filed a complaint against Daniel Burns, who was employed by TPS for 30 years, and John Briggle, a Toledo businessman under indictment for two alleged money schemes.
While working for TPS, Mr. Burns was an assistant to the business manager from July, 2001, until he was named acting business manager in January, 2002. He was then promoted to chief business manager of the district in July, 2003.*

Mr. Burns served in that role until June, 2006, when he retired and followed former TPS Superintendent Eugene Sanders to the Cleveland district where Mr. Burns was chief operating officer. An employee in Cleveland noticed something unusual with Mr. Burns' activities, prompting an investigation into his time there and at TPS.

In Cuyahoga County, Mr. Burns is charged with one count each of racketeering and theft in office and six counts of tampering with records.
Attorney James McCaffrey of Cleveland, who is representing Mr. Burns in the criminal case, could not be reached for comment.

 *Who promoted Burns?

As former business manager for TPS, Burns also was in charge of the district's $641 million school reconstruction program. Many in the African American community believe he disregarded the district's pledge of 20 percent inclusion by minority-owned companies. A native Toledoan, Burns, who is believed to have shared his allegedly illegally gotten money with Briggles, had many contacts, if not friendships, with top officers with white-owned companies. If not for the tip by a Cleveland Schools employee, the alleged theft of over $600,000 in Toledo might never have been discovered. Auditor Taylor initiated the special audit for TPS after Briggle's Superior Offset Supplies was identified as a ''suspicious new vendor'' in Cleveland. ''As was typical for CMSD [Cleveland Schools], the District mailed a copy of a purchase order to the vendor, Superior Offset Supplies, Inc. (SOS), at a Parma, Ohio business address. However, the business at that address was not SOS and contacted the District to report the mailing error. From that point forward, the SOS address on future purchase orders and invoices was changed to a Toledo personal residence and the purchase orders were marked 'do not mail.''' the auditor's report states. ''Additionally, rather than mailing CMSD checks, which was standard operating procedure, the checks issued to SOS were personally picked up by either Daniel Burns, Chief Operating Officer, or his assistant, Shenee McCoy-Gibbons.'' Burns, who may or may not have had an accomplice in Toledo, was indicted in Cleveland on one count each of racketeering and theft in office and six counts of tampering with records. He faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted. Since criminal charges are also likely against Burns and Briggle in Lucas County, both might face more prison time.
TPS paid the insurers to bond Burns for $250,000 every year, Treasurer Romano said.


Oligarchy+Corporate Fascism+Rascism=CMSD Prisons

Kathy--the saddest part of the equation--we have allowed fithy, rich (mostly "white") old money (mostly men) to turn the CMSD into a prison system. 

The sickest part of this whole charade.  Rich folks will get their spawn schooled at the expense of the poor folks, who live in the City of Cleveland!  It's happening now at the special academies.  Your child does not even have to live in Cleveland to attend the "special" schools. 

BECAUSE, there will be, as planned, a few "Schools of Excellence" (like the new K-8 International Boarding School at CSU).

Sure, beats tuition for Laurel, Hawken or the University School. And, who needs an Ivy League degree these days?  But, if you still want your child to attend Harvard, the admission boards are suckers for the hard-knock story of the "urban" child who DEFIES the ODDS to succeed.  Afterall, America loves adults, who harbor bad childhood stories, and we manufacture more of them EVERYDAY-regardless of skin tone!

Meanwhile, the Plain Dealer administration knew the whole time that they were bringing in con-man, charlatan Eugene Saunders from Toledo, where he filled a similar role.  The Plain Dealer KNEW that Mr. Saunders failed to pay his income tax on earnings BEFORE he came here and they BURIED that story.

It's all just a REAL ESTATE game.


Campus International School at Cleveland State University


from the CSU Perspective
Written by Barbara Chudzik, Senior Communications Representative
Cleveland State University

Two large stuffed giraffes are positioned just inside the front door. There are no desks for students or teachers. And Mandarin Chinese is on the daily lesson plan.

The newly launched Campus International School (CIS) is a far cry from a traditional neighborhood school. A collaboration between Cleveland State and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, CIS has already been recognized by the New York Times as an innovative model for urban education.

Housed in leased space at the former First United Methodist Church at East 30th Street and Euclid Avenue, just blocks from the CSU campus, CIS was championed by President Ronald Berkman and won enthusiastic support from Cleveland schools former CEO Eugene Sanders and Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson.

The school opened this fall with 112 youngsters in kindergarten through second grade. Third grade classes will be added in fall 2011; eventually the school will offer classes through grade 12.

Campus International will incorporate programs from the International Baccalaureate – a Swiss-based education program renowned for its academic rigor, international curriculum and high standards. IB schools develop intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills for students to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world.

At CIS, the entire third floor is the classroom for first and second graders while the second floor is the kindergarten classroom. Individual rooms are learning centers named for local landmarks like the Great Lakes Science Center and West Side Market and for CSU’s Colleges. It’s one way of introducing students to what’s around them and helping them become global citizens.

With just 20 students per class, youngsters move from room to room and floor to floor, learning Chinese, literacy, math, social studies, science, music, media, art and physical education. They sit at round tables or on the carpeted floor in rooms painted bright orange, green and blue. Hallways and stairwells are adorned with student artwork.

Some 70 percent of students are from Cleveland; the remainder live in suburbs from Solon to Westlake to Wickliffe. Some 70 percent are African American, with other ethnicities represented as well. The boy/girl split is about 50/50. With open enrollment, the student body represents a wide range of academic ability. The curriculum is customized to meet individual needs.

CIS has seven full-time teachers for its six classes and physical education. There also are part-time teachers for art, media and music. All came from the Cleveland schools. But they don’t sit in one room, at a desk, in front of 20 students.

“Everything is shared –- space, resources, teachers. Every student has every teacher and our teachers know the strengths and weaknesses of each student,” notes Ronald Abate, CSU associate professor of teacher education who is on sabbatical this year to serve as the liaison between CSI and CSU.

“In traditional schools, teachers can get isolated. Here, teachers collaborate. Every subject is taught in every learning center. Students explore and interact as they learn. It’s a dynamic environment.”

In keeping with the international curriculum, every CIS student has passport that looks like the real thing. As a country or culture is studied, the passport is stamped. And students actually travel – with weekly trips to the CSU campus for recreational or educational experiences.

CIS provides a unique learning environment not just for its young students, it also provides access to a teaching environment for CSU education students. Similar to a teaching hospital, CSU students are using the campus school as a hands-on training facility to enhance their classroom experience.

“The entire University community has been extremely supportive of the school,” says Dr. Abate. “From computer and technology assistance to speech and hearing students testing our kindergarten students to the Confucius Institute providing funding for our Mandarin teacher, the support and interest from CSU have been outstanding.” Parental support and involvement have been exemplary as well.

“Campus International affords parents a fabulous educational choice for their children. It’s a viable alternative for those who might otherwise choose a private school or leave the city rather than send their children to a public school,” says principal Julie Beers. In fact, some parents are signing up their unborn children.

Other schools in the Cleveland district will benefit from CIS as well, through the sharing of best practices developed in the innovative environment. “This school will set a new urban standard in education,” says President Berkman. “CIS provides the city with a unique, high-end education at no additional cost to parents. It also provides the University with a venue to produce new, best-in-class teachers of the future.”
For Mayor Jackson, CIS is a step toward reversing the flow of urban sprawl and drawing new families back into the city.

“This school represents a viable new option for younger families who want to live downtown,” Jackson says. “The first step of redeveloping any urban core begins with education, and this project sends a clear message that we are committed to bettering the community with students who will compete globally.”

For information, contact the Campus International School at 216.431.2225.


The fall uniform for all CMSD students and teachers will be an orange jumpsuit. Stripes are optional.
But, if your child is SPECIAL, SPECIAL--check out the Campus International School at CSU:
“Campus International affords parents a fabulous educational choice for their children. It’s a viable alternative for those who might otherwise choose a private school or leave the city rather than send their children to a public school,” says principal Julie Beers. In fact, some parents are signing up their unborn children."
I understand that each child is assigned a special Swiss Au Pair. Also, Western Reserve Land Conservancy/County Land Bank and CSU's own Oligarch-in-Residence Jim Rokakis will drop in to indoctrinate the children on real estate investment.
A bien·tôt!