Cincinnati Public Schools making the grade

Many cite schools as a reason they don’t live within city limits (or within the CPS district). I have said before that it is more of an excuse than an actual reason, but it is what it is. Cincinnati Public Schools have been improving their state rating over the past few years, and recently have been receiving some national praise.

In a recent Education Week article (PDF) they say:

Despite being plagued by the problems that beset most urban school systems, the Cincinnati public schools have managed to increase the four-year high school graduation rate from 51 percent in 2000, to 79 percent in 2007. Perhaps more important, they have, as of 2007, eliminated the gap between African-American and white students in graduation rates. This feat was accomplished, moreover, as the state of Ohio was raising academic standards and requiring students to pass more-challenging assessments to receive their diplomas.

While a 79 percent graduation rate isn’t necessarily anything to write home about…it is a strong improvement. This strong improvement has certainly not gone unnoticed, and is going beyond an article in Education Week. CPS Superintendent, Rosa Blackwell, will be on CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight show this coming Tuesday night at 8pm. Blackwell will be joined with Withrow University principal Sharon Johnson to talk about the district’s improvements.

Furthermore the district has broken ground on what will become the nation’s first public K-12 arts school. Just to reiterate…crime is down, schools are improving, and you can get a property tax abatement for moving into the city. So what’s holding you back?

By Randy A. Simes

Randy is an award-winning urban planner who founded UrbanCincy in May 2007. He grew up on Cincinnati’s west side in Covedale, and graduated from the University of Cincinnati’s nationally acclaimed School of Planning in June 2009. In addition to maintaining ownership and serving as the managing editor for UrbanCincy, Randy has worked professionally as a planning consultant throughout the United States, Korea and the Middle East. After brief stints in Atlanta and Chicago, he currently lives in the Daechi neighborhood of Seoul’s Gangnam district.