Citywide Education Progress Reports

CLEVELAND: Mayor-Led Coalition Crafts Initiatives, Tracks Progress to Transform Schools

In many school systems, the increasing complexity of governance can create new collective action problems. Led by Mayor Frank Jackson, a coalition of leaders from a variety of sectors in Cleveland has managed to buck typical patterns of turnover and siloed work to focus on shared goals through the Cleveland Plan for Transforming Schools.

Through the Plan, leaders, representing the district, mayor’s office, chamber of commerce, philanthropy, a variety of charter schools, the community, and nonprofits meet on a regular basis to track progress on goals and work on initiatives.

City leaders describe several factors that support this voluntary partnership. Most leaders have been involved since the beginning of the Plan in 2012 and have built solid relationships and trust. There are clear metrics for success, and partners hold each other accountable for taking action. Different interests and priorities arise among members, but they have established citywide shared goals that are at the forefront of their collaboration. And they are clear on how each player fits into the bigger picture.

Cleveland leaders still have work to do to meet their goals, and they can’t let satisfaction with progress to date get in the way of accelerating improvement. But the foundations for successful collective action have been built to support future success.

View Cleveland’s citywide education progress report.

The Center on Reinventing Public Education is a research and policy analysis center at the University of Washington Bothell developing systemwide solutions for K–12 public education. Questions? Email