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Ohio's earlier school start dates may benefit testing
CEO of Cleveland City Schools says early start dates are part of a strategy to keep grades up

Mark Urycki
CEO of Cleveland City Schools Eric Gordon.
Courtesy of Mark Urycki
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School started today for students in Cleveland public schools. State Impact Ohio’s Mark Urycki reports the early start dates may benefit test results.

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If you’re like most of us, when you come back from vacation, your colleagues form a line outside the door and welcome you back to work. 

“Good Morning…Welcome back” cheers & applause

That’s the way students at Barbara Booker Elementary and many other Cleveland schools were received on the first day of school. The CEO of Cleveland schools, Eric Gordon was in line along with the principal, a city councilman, and two dozen volunteers. Gordon says it’s part of a strategy to keep grades up by using everyone from teachers to bus-drivers to neighbors to nudge students not to miss school.

The early start to the academic year, he says, is aimed at getting as much work in as possible before the big state and federal test period in the spring.

“More and more school districts like us are going a little bit earlier in the summer so that we end 1st semester before winter break and then start second semester as soon as we come back. And so we have more time before achievement testing in April.  And then we get out at the end of May at Memorial Day giving the full summer.  It’s just that we set the summer a little earlier,” Gordon says. 

Cleveland opened 100 schools, including three brand new high schools.  Canton schools open later this week and Akron, Toledo and Columbus start next week.

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