CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - After more than a decade of flat or low results, the Cleveland Metropolitan School District now ranks near the top in academic growth, when compared to 20 other large U.S. urban school districts.
In fact, CMSD was one of only three districts to improve on all four sections of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as the Nation's Report Card.
Cleveland also showed the second largest gains in the nation in fourth-grade reading and big gains in fourth-grade math.
A teacher at Buhrer Dual Language Academy said it's all about the students.
"I look at it more individually than as a school because I know where each of my students are and by the end of the year and I know I've taken them where they need to go," said Lori Kurek.
Kurek has been teaching for 32 years. She echoes what many have said, that parental involvement is key to a child's learning.
"We communicate with our parents so often. We have all kinds of activities for parents and our parents come," Kurek said. "We have grade bands at our school. So, when I receive my fourth (grade) students they're so prepared from third grade and I already know where to begin with them."
The latest report was released early Wednesday.
"The community should be encouraged and confident that more improvement is in store to come, as the school system is clearly on the right track," said Michael Casserly, executive director of the Council of the Great City Schools.
CMSD fared well even when comparisons extended beyond the other urban districts whose data was made public.
"After years of finishing last or nearly last among other big-city school districts in the nation, the 2015 scores are the best indicator we have so far that our reforms are working," Chief Executive Officer Eric Gordon said. "CMSD must continue climbing to catch up with many of the other TUDA members and the nation as a whole. But the results demonstrate the impact of The Cleveland Plan, CMSD's blueprint for education reform in the city."
Mayor Frank G. Jackson hopes the upward trend continues for Cleveland's schools.