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U.S. education Ssecretary visits Cleveland schools to celebrate alliances
Arne Duncan says Cleveland could be model for reform nationwide

Ida Lieszkovszky
Education Secretary Arne Duncan (right) lauded Democratic Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson's efforts to work with Republican Gov. John Kasich to fix the failing school district.
Courtesy of Ida Lieszkovszky
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U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was in Ohio today to talk about education reform efforts and meet with superintendents. StateImpact Ohio’s Ida Lieszkovszky reports he used his visit to Cleveland to tout efforts to turn around the failing district.

LIESZKOVSZKY on Arne Duncan's visit to Cleveland

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Duncan’s first stop was a preschool classroom at Anton Grdina elementary school.

Asked the teacher: “Who is our visitor today boys and girls?”

To which the children responded: “Mr. Duncan.”

“And who is Mr. Duncan?”

Kids: “Barack Obama, the president’s friend.”

It seemed like the Secretary of Education was having a good time learning about how bean plants grow with the preschoolers. But he was actually in town to talk about the Cleveland Plan. He says Cleveland could be a model for education reform nationwide, because of the way the state law setting up the Cleveland Plan was passed.

“There are not many places where I’ve seen a Democratic mayor partner with a Republican governor partner with a city superintendent partner with a union leader.”

Duncan acknowledged the city’s history of education reform plans with little success.

“There’s no guarantees this one will do something, but I’m actually tremendously excited about the possibility.”

Duncan makes another Ohio stop in Columbus to meet with city and school officials to discuss ways to improve that district.

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