CMSD / @CleMetroSchools
Eric Gordon, "the time and conditions were right" to step down.
CMSD CEO Eric Gordon announced in a somber video message
Monday afternoon that he would step down from his leadership role in June, at the conclusion of the 2022-2023 school year.
While the decision was not an easy one, he said, "the time and conditions are right for the Mayor and Board of Education to identify the next CEO to lead the District’s long-term recovery from the pandemic and to build on the gains we achieved during a remarkable and historic period in K-12 education."
Gordon has been at CMSD's helm for 11 years. He said he made the decision to announce his forthcoming departure now in order to give the Board of Education and Mayor Bibb enough time to conduct a "thorough, high-quality search" for the district's next top executive.
Cleveland Teachers Union president Shari Obrenski issued a statement of gratitude in response to the news.
She said Gordon treated educators "as partners to work with, rather than as obstacles to work around."
"Our collaboration led to improved outcomes for our students, safer schools, increased opportunities for student involvement in sports, the arts, and other activities," she said. "The community has rewarded our efforts with their support demonstrated through the passage of a number of levies, including the most recent November 2020 levy, overwhelmingly passed at the height of the pandemic."
In a statement posted to social media, Mayor Justin Bibb thanked Gordon for his years of service and noted that under his leadership, CMSD's high school graduation rates had vastly increased and that the number of children in high-quality pre-schools had nearly doubled. He said he looked forward to working with Gordon until his exit in June.
Mark Naymik of the new nonprofit newsroom Signal Cleveland broke the news on Twitter
. He referenced a difference of opinion between Bibb and Gordon over charter schools which may have precipitated Gordon's departure.
But in an interview with Ideastream's Conor Morris, Bibb rejected the insinuation
that Gordon was stepping down due to charter schools. He nevertheless hastened to champion high-quality charters as a component of the Cleveland Plan, the 2012 platform of reforms to improve an ailing CMSD.