Assessment

Cleveland Takes Testing Message Door to Door

By Catherine Gewertz — March 06, 2007 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

It wasn’t Sunday, but Cleveland’s Army of Believers was out rapping on doors. They were preaching the gospel of passing Ohio’s high school graduation test.

Eugene T. Sanders, the district’s chief executive officer, had called for an “army of believers” to help the district’s 57,000 students do better.

On a 20-degree Saturday morning, Feb. 24, about 300 volunteers—parents, City Council members, and local corporate employees—answered his call.

In small groups, they visited the homes of nearly half the district’s 4,100 sophomores, telling parents about the Ohio Graduation Tests, which will be given in five subjects March 12-25. Students take the test for the first time in 10th grade. This year’s seniors are the first who must pass it to earn a diploma.

Mr. Sanders himself led one group, answering parents’ questions and leaving behind pamphlets on test-taking tips. Another round of home visits was scheduled for March 3.

Last spring, two-thirds of Cleveland sophomores passed the graduation test’s writing portion. Only three in 10 cleared the hurdle in science. Fewer than one-quarter passed all five parts.

Making a better showing on the tests is critical if Mr. Sanders is to keep his August 2006 promise to move Cleveland up from the second-lowest of five levels in the state’s accountability system.(“Cleveland Seeks Move From Zero,” Sept. 6, 2006.)

To improve districtwide performance and expand parent choice, he also announced plans recently to open a host of academies, including single-gender and residential programs. He’s been doing automated phone “blasts,” sending postcards, and hitting hip-hop radio stations to publicize his initiatives.

“Cleveland is in dire need of a turnaround, and we’ve been able to strike a vibe with the community around the urgency of what we need to do,” he said.

Cheryl Lane, the mother of two Cleveland school students, planned to join other volunteers going door to door on March 3.

“If a word of encouragement is all that’s needed to help [parents and students] prepare, then it’s worth it,” she said.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the March 07, 2007 edition of Education Week


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
What’s Next for Teaching and Learning? Key Trends for the New School Year
The past 18 months changed the face of education forever, leaving teachers, students, and families to adapt to unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning. As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Assessment Spotlight Spotlight on Assessment in 2021
In this Spotlight, review newest assessment scores, see how districts will catch up with their supports for disabled students, plus more.
Assessment 'Nation's Report Card' Has a New Reading Framework, After a Drawn-Out Battle Over Equity
The new framework for the National Assessment of Educational Progress will guide development of the 2026 reading test.
10 min read
results 925693186 02
iStock/Getty
Assessment Opinion Q&A Collections: Assessment
Scores of educators share commentaries on the use of assessments in schools.
5 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty
Assessment Standardized Tests Could Be in Jeopardy in Wake of Biden Decisions, Experts Say
Has the Biden administration shored up statewide tests this year only to risk undermining long-term public backing for them?
6 min read
Image of a test sheet.
sengchoy/iStock/Getty