Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson's big ideas, Part 2: Transformation of Cleveland schools
Last summer Jackson teamed up with an unlikely ally -- Gov. John Kasich, a Republican -- to sell state legislators on a bill that would empower the mayor to make wholesale changes to improve the schools' below-average academic achievement marks.
The Cleveland Plan for Transforming Schools, which was approved and signed into law last June, promises to improve dismal graduation rates by granting the mayor unique power to close or reconstitute schools and to partner with the best charter schools in the city to keep the focus on students and not just the city’s school system.
And in November, Jackson achieved what had seemed impossible: He persuaded voters to adopt a 15-mill tax increase that, in the mayor's words, "they could not afford."