The Future is in Our Hands

Our Future is in our Hands

I know you’re angry. I know that you feel like you’ve been duped, tricked, misled once again. I know that we have felt this feeling so much that it’s almost expected here in Cleveland. Of course it hurts a little bit more because our babies were involved. No matter what we don’t like anyone messing with our babies, they are our only hope. They are our future! At this time Cleveland Metropolitan School District is going through a transformation stage. Transformation much like change is a word that many of us don’t quite appreciate because we’re afraid of change. Recently, the C.E.O of CMSD Dr. Eugene Sanders has resigned from his post leaving much of the community enraged. I can understand your anger, your frustration and to be honest you should be angry but for a different reason. We should be angry at the state of our school district but you would agree that we were in this predicament long before Dr. Sanders took this position. Our school district needed transformation long before it came from the mouth of Dr. Sanders. Cleveland has needed a transformation long before many of us arrived on this planet. Its easy to place blame on the person who tried his best to transform our city even though we all have been whispering, “our future is in peril and if we don’t do something about it we will fall with no way of getting up.” Why have we been afraid to yell the obvious? And not only yell but develop a plan to bring about a transformation that we so desperately need? Sometimes it hurts when outsiders tell you how terrible your condition is. I think it hurts because we know the problem more intimately than them and we have decided not to do anything about it. I’m not just talking about changing, I’m talking about evolving. We must evolve as a school district and a city so that we are able to compete with other countries not just districts within our borders. Why are we still whispering about our problems while our future is screaming for help, screaming for our help. Everyday they scream with their actions, the stress in their eyes, their disobedience. Their screaming, “LOVE ME,” “GUIDE ME,” “HELP ME SAVE ME,” and what do we do. We whisper, “somebody should do something about it,” “somebody should help them,” “somebody should make a change.” Well guess what? That somebody is us! Dr. Sanders did his best. I can promise you that he didn’t come to destroy our kids. We didn’t need no outsiders to destroy us we’ve done a great job at that! But if we know the problem, why don’t we fix it? I think the key to fixing our problem is that we must stop giving our problems to somebody else to fix! We must fix our own problems! I urge us as a community to push for our next CEO to be from Cleveland! Of course this candidate must have more qualifications than that but I think that this is extremely important. A Clevelander knows Cleveland! The problems, politics, and people make Cleveland a very beautiful and ugly place. Lets find a person from our city who has the intelligence, courage, compassion and dedication to truly transform our city. Transformation is not just about closing and opening schools but its also about opening minds. I have some people in mind and I’m sure you do as well. Lets give a Clevelander a chance.  Let that be our first option. See when you grew up in the city that your serving, leaving is not an option. Don’t get me wrong you may leave, but home will always call you back.  Dr. Sanders did the best that he could do, when will be able to say that about ourselves. The Future is in our hands!


4 responses to “The Future is in Our Hands

  1. Brother –
    This is very well written and compassionate. However, I’m still left wondering did he do the best he could or, did he see a sinking ship and bail? Yes, the problems existed long before he was brought onboard but it doesn’t change the fact that CMSD is in a state of disarray. I agree, it’s time to be more resolution oriented and try something different. The focus must be on selecting someone who is outcomes driven and will see it through and at this point whether someone from Cleveland should replace Sanders remains to be seen…
    Much love,
    The Lady

  2. I appreciate your input on this topic and I commend, as I always have, your efforts to improve our city as well as uplift our youth. I agree with you that Dr. Sanders probably did the best he could have done. I was born and raised in Cleveland city proper and attended the schools there, however the biggest impact to my education didn’t come from within the walls of the Board of Education, but rather within the walls of my own home. I have long thought the problems were not because of the “schools” or back in the day the school superintendents, but rather from the core and foundation of every child; Family. If the root isn’t right, then the flower isnt going to flourish. We need to begin to set-up programs to help the large number of single parents. We also need to encourage the parents to attend workshops and parenting classes to get information on what it takes to properly rear a child. I grew up in the same disdain and crack house streets by a single mother on welfare and managed to stay out of trouble and very motivated to achieve. I sat next to the students who grew up where I did with the same school district in disarray who did the opposite, but we were in terrible neighborhoods with mounting violence, but I made it through. Why? Because I had a mother who was not going to give up on my sisters and me. I had a home, where there wasn’t much money, but there was much love. We have got to find a way to enhance the parenting skills because they have the ability to encourage these children towards higher learning, toward competing, as you put it, beyond our local and national borders. If the parents don’t want to participate then these children need mentors. These children need men and women to show them that they are really proud of them. They need to be told that they are capable, because I can guarantee you that many of them have NEVER heard it. They also need to be motivated with incentives for doing a great job, i.e tickets to events, trips, etc. Whatever it takes to make these children feel special and as if they have a place in the world. I really don’t care who holds that seat as CEO of the CMSD, but I am pretty sure that he/she only attacks the surface of the issue, they too will fail as Dr. Eugene Sanders has failed.

  3. Our school systems has a number of radical problems, therefore it will take a number of radical solution to fix them. I’m convinced that a fresh mind with new ideas are needed to move Cleveland’s Schools forward and upward. No longer can we afford to just maintain or schools. We have to move past just keeping the doors open, and get to the business of educating our students.
    If this city shared the same fanaticism & willingness for change in our school system as we have for our sports teams (Cav, Browns & Indians) we would have no problems.
    Our issues require a fundamental change in our culture. As a city, we have to change the way we think about education & educating our kids. The solution calls for someone or something that can deliver this city to a new way of thinking. There is someone that comes to mind. That would be you Mr. Jones.
    Why not you Mr. Jones.

  4. I agree with Charles, B. Be the change you want to see!

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