Education & Youth Development

Protecting the Future

A Strong Foundation for Life


In 2015, Cleveland Schools ranked near the top in academic growth when compared with 20 other large U.S. urban school districts in the Nation’s Report Card – the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Cleveland also showed the second-largest gains in the nation in fourth grade reading and fourth-largest gains in the nation in fourth grade math. Four-year graduation rates have increased 12 percent in the last four years, and we’ve seen a 50 percent increase in third grade readiness on state reading requirements. A portfolio of new schools has given students more options, and CMSD CEO Eric Gordon’s contract was renewed this May, promising four more years of inspired leadership. Outside of school, more young people are connecting to events, programs, and opportunities right in their own neighborhoods.

Every child deserves a fair start at life, but not every child receives one. So many of Cleveland’s children have faced difficult odds. Education continues to be the great equalizer. Recent years indicate a turning point for Cleveland’s public schools, thanks to system-wide reform producing real results.

The Cleveland Foundation has invested in education since we were founded more than a century ago, and this year was no exception. With our partners and donors, we help students across Greater Cleveland, from preschool to PhD, and everywhere in between. We were instrumental in the design and implementation of the Cleveland Plan for Transforming Schools, a blueprint to make sure every family in every Cleveland neighborhood has a variety of great schools from which to choose.

This year, your foundation helped:

  • More children go to quality preschools
  • Young people get involved in neighborhood activities
  • Middle and high schoolers explore career pathways
  • High schools innovate to meet student interests and needs
  • Students go to college, pay for college, and stay in college

parallax layer

Education by the Numbers

In the first three quarters of 2015, the Cleveland Foundation has awarded 508 grants totaling more than $22.2 million to support education initiatives. In that same period, the foundation has awarded 400 grants totaling more than $2.7 million to support scholarships.

Did You Know?

4 year graduation rates have increased from 52 percent in 2009-2010 to 64 percent in 2012-2013