New CMSD CEO named but does he really deserve the job?

The Cleveland Board of Education announced during a special meeting that Eric S. Gordon has been selected as the new CMSD CEO.

Despite never having held such a position, the BOE stated that Gordon has demonstrated the requisite academic and leadership skills to effectively serve the Cleveland Municipal School District as Chief Executive Officer. Mayor Frank G. Jackson concurred with the decision in a letter to Board Chair Denise Link.

Mr. Gordon currently serves as Chief Academic Officer of CMSD, a position he has held since October 2007 and was a significant contributor to the development of the district's Academic Transformation Plan in 2010.
In addition, he is responsible for principal and teacher professional development, organizational and individual performance goals, evaluation and assessment.


Eric Gordon served the Cleveland Metropolitan School District as its Chief Academic Officer from 2007-2011, when the Cleveland Board of Education voted unanimously to appoint him as Chief Executive Officer.  Mr. Gordon was one of the major architects of the District's Academic Transformation Plan that garnered national recognition for its dramatic approach to top-to-bottom school reform.

Under his leadership, CMSD has engaged in the development of a three-tiered academic improvement model that focuses on both traditional academic achievement strategies and also on improving the conditions for learning for students and families. The strategy produced dramatic reductions in serious safety incidents, suspensions, and expulsions in Cleveland's schools and overall increases in student attendance, an increase in achievement test scores, and the District's highest-ever state rating of Continuous Improvement. With a commitment to providing high quality education for urban students, Mr. Gordon implemented a district-wide scope and sequence curriculum and implemented the CMSD's conditions for learning "Humanware" strategy.

Prior to joining the leadership team at CMSD, Mr. Gordon taught in the New Orleans Public Schools and the Toledo Public Schools and has served as a high school principal in urban, rural, and suburban school districts.  In 2001, he was recruited to the Columbus area to serve as founding principal for the rapidly-growing Olentangy Local School District's second high school.  Under his leadership, the school was named a School of Distinction by the state of Ohio for higher-than-predicted performance of special education students on the Ohio Graduation Tests. While at Olentangy, Mr. Gordon was appointed to the position of Executive Director of Secondary Learning, where he was responsible for curriculum and instruction, special education services, student data and accountability, supervision of personnel, and opening of new schools for grades 6-12.

He is actively involved in practitioner leadership with the Common Core State Standards through a partnership with the Gates Foundation, the Council of the Great City Schools, and the American Federation of Teachers.  He maintains active involvement in practitioner leadership with Social and Emotional Learning standards through a partnership with the NoVo Foundation and the Center for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning. 

Mr. Gordon earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Mathematics Education and a Master's of Education degree in School Administration at Bowling Green State University.  He and his wife, Dawn, live in the Ohio City neighborhood of Cleveland with their black Labrador retriever, "Buddy."  Their children, he says, are the 44,000 students of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.

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