KSU part of effort to improve Cleveland schools

By Dan Trevas Record-Courier Capital Bureau Published:

COLUMBUS _ Kent State University is trying to make the Cleveland Public Schools better by increasing the skills of its school principals and administrators.

The Ohio Board of Regents approved Friday a collaborative master of education degree in educational leadership that is being jointly offered by Kent State, Cleveland State University, Baldwin-Wallace College and John Carroll University.

After a federal court order placed the Cleveland Public Schools under the supervision of the Ohio Board of Education in 1995, the state sought to develop programs that could produce meaningful reform to the state's largest public school system.

"One of the goals for generating student success

system-wide, rather than in isolated pockets, focuses on the enhancement of leadership and management skills within each school," said a course description.

The skills enhancement program is limited to Cleveland school administrators and has already graduated students before getting the Board of Regents formal approval. The program is getting ready to accept its third class of students. The 35 students now in the program are split into small groups working at the four campuses.

The schools said the program has all the rigors and requirements of a traditional "on-campus" graduate program in educational administration. It is also tailored to address the needs of urban schools and Cleveland administrators help design and evaluate the assignments.

Although classes are offered by both the public and private colleges, the tuition rate for the students is identical. The regents praised Baldwin-Wallace and John Carroll for accepting the tuition rate that is far below their usual charges for graduate school courses.

The regents said Cleveland schools needs to try bold reforms to improve the education of students graduating next century.

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