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Ex-CEO of Cleveland schools works on Chaney plan

Published: Wed, May 2, 2012 @ 12:07 a.m.

By Denise Dick



A retired chief executive of Cleveland schools is working as a consultant in the Youngstown schools.

Eugene Sanders, who retired Feb. 1, 2011, from the Cleveland school district helm, is working through his Sanders Transformation Group at Chaney’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics school.

The company’s $73,000 contract, which runs from late February through June 30, will be paid out of Chaney’s School Improvement Grant, a federal program.

Superintendent Connie Hathorn stressed that the group is not being paid from the district’s general fund. Chaney’s one-year grant amount is $1,850,000, and the school may reapply, Chaney Principal S. Diane Rollins said in an email.

“The awarded amount must be spent within that year, and you must have external providers to assist in reaching the stated grant goals for leadership, graduation rate, school climate and student achievement,” the email said.

Sanders is working with Pam Lubich, Chaney’s STEM coordinator, and the Building Leadership Team to design a “rigorous” STEM program, Rollins, who formerly worked in the Cleveland district, said in the email.

“The Sanders Group meets in person a minimum of one or two days a week as well having phone conferences several times a week to develop a strategic vision/mission and plan of implementation for an exemplary STEM program,” she said.

Hathorn said it was left to the building leadership teams at schools that received SIG grants to decide how to use the funds.

Sanders served as Cleveland schools CEO from 2006 until his early 2011 retirement.

Chaney personnel report 10 meetings and eight telephone conferences with Sanders between Feb. 21 and April 30.


1doowoptokidrock(325 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

All you have to do is look at what shape the schools in Cleveland are today. Sanders is just another over paid under performing school superintendent still sucking money from school districts.

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2commyliberal(94 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

I hope the proposed STEM program at Chaney will lead to improvements throughout the Youngstown school system. I think as a society we need to focus on parenting skills and support for young parents if we really want to improve the education system. Too many parents & children are being left behind because they lack life skills. Parents cannot give children what they as parents do not possess & teachers cannot success if parents are not an integral part of the process.

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3gingerspice(142 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

AMEN!!! commyliberal!!!

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4EducateAll(1 comment)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Dr. Eugene Sanders will bring his extensive knowledge and background to the table for the kids and staff in the Youngstown Schools.

For those in Youngstown who may not know, Dr. Sanders lead the first urban district in Ohio to Continuous Improvement (Toledo) and moved the graduation rate from 50% to 80% in 6 years; Secured the designation of Continuous Improvement in Cleveland Schools for the first time in history; open several STEM Schools, including the only STEM School in the USA on the campus of a Fortune 500 Company; and moved the graduation rate from 50% to nearly 65% in just over 4 years.

He is a former tenured professor who has published a textbook on urban education and a really nice guy. Good luck Dr. Sanders, Youngstown will benefit from your work.

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5Forwhatsright(1 comment)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

It amazes me how someone like "doowhoptokidrock" can use this blog as a means to bash a man who has proven himself over the many years he has served in public education and received countless awards for the accomplishments that he has made, to try and bash the character of Dr. Sanders by trying to smear the "effective" work he did for the Cleveland Municipal School District. Dr. Sanders has done what NO other superintendent in Cleveland or Toledo has done for the ratings for both districts. He is a man of honor, a man of courage, and a man who is dedicated to working for increased achievement and academic success for every student. He has a determination to witness ALL students receive the "best" educational opportunities so that they can be ready to face the challenges and succeed in this ever changing and challenging world that we live in. I commend Principal Rollins for seeking such talent from Dr. Sanders to assist her building and the Youngstown district with getting back on the road to academic success for the students they service. It is obvious that this "doowhop" individual is not an advocate or a supporter of the Youngstown Schools and the students in it, because if he/she was, they would want the best for this district and would see that Dr. Sanders has the skills, the countless credentials, and the experience to move this district forward successfully. I think this is a great opportunity for Youngstown to make change and Dr. Sanders is the guy who can help make that happen!

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6allaboutkids(1 comment)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

It is forward thinking of Principal Rollins to have someone such as Dr. Sanders here to work with the program. He is very accomplished and has very innovative ideas. I read an article that talked about the real work he did in Cleveland. He is responsible for some of the most innovate schools in the state and nation. Unfortunately armchair quarterbacks only know what the Plain Dealer chose to share. And the paper was more interested in personal attacks than the great things going on in the schools. I watched Dr. Sanders on the CBS Evening news and Education Nation. My guess is he was there because he had something of value to share. I appreciate Principal Rollins for getting a "fresh look." Education is a tough business and I believe Dr. Sanders has proven himself a true leader--for those of us who can think and read at the same time. I am glad he came out of retirement to join the hard workers still in the trenches!

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7education1(1 comment)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Bravo Dr. Sanders. Its about time that a strong African American male role model does not leave education after retirement. I am so glad that Dr. Sanders continues to help schools to help students and their families improve academic achievement. Good luck and I pray that other districts will see your worth and allow you to help them transform their URBAN schools/districts.

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8Mastertchr(1 comment)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Sanders drove CMSD into bankruptcy. I see all his buddies are out to support him. Maybe they can ride on his shirt-tails. The District hit rock bottom and staff morale was at an all time low under his tutelage. He left it high and dry after seeing to his own needs, just like the rest of the carpetbaggers that came in to make a name for themselves. They used Cleveland as a stepping stone for better things and could've cared less about the kids or the community. I can only wish bad things on these leeches. His Transformation plan did nothing for the city or its children. It was a failed plan from the start because it could not be funded. He wasted the District's resources on this utterly impractical plan that didn't have a chance to succeed. Look at the financial state of CMSD now; that's his legacy!

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9ivyleaguer(1 comment)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Masterchr and doowoptokickrock, let me ask you a few quick questions? Are you an African American and do you have any children? This country must move forward and the only way that can be done is through positive role models. Why is it when there is a successful African American ie Obama ie Sanders its all about the money. The other races have been assigned these contracts through grants for years, and where has it gotten the majority of our school systems? Now that the young people of urban systems are having successful role models to look up to, people that they can relate to, people that know what it is like to be "Black", yes I used the so called politicially incorrect term so there is no misunderstanding; people that can help our children - now its about the money. Money that for years have been given to "white" consultants firms. If Dr. Sanders was such a "non-productive" leader, then why was he offered two other large metropolitian school district jobs before choosing Cleveland? You know there something I do not understand about this society and world we live it; if a "black" person is unemployed, collecting government aid and standing on the corner, then "white" America say "They" need to go get a job. Then when a "black" American is educated, and a stellar citizen, he is stealing money, he is over qualified for the job. What is it that is expected? I think if this Youngstown school has the grant money alloted and they are using it to benefit the students, WHAT IS THE PROBLEM??? Did your company lose the bid?

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10armchairquarterbacks(1 comment)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

So many armchairquarterbacks who don't have a clue about what it takes to manage a school system. The problem is that we, as Americans want leaders to be super heroes who can transform areas of our society in a single bound. When we are able to find a CEO, like Dr. Sanders who steps up and makes important inroads such as "Continuous Improvement" for two major school systems, we want more, more, more. The man gave 30 years of service! He has a right to retire. But we want more, more, more. Perhaps we should ask ourselves, what do we do to keep leaders of high quality? Parents - what did you do? How about the politicians? What about school boards and the community? Ok we paid him a salary. So that's all it takes to improve our dismal educational system? I commend Principal Rollins for using the services of a proven leader like Dr. Sanders. All you "armchairs" just keep doing what you do - nothing but sit on the sidelines and complain. If Dr. Sanders was superman and somehow single-handedly transformed the entire school system, you would still find something wrong. You'd probably then call him arrogant.

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11NobleOne(1 comment)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

When I read via an article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer that Dr. Sanders was hired to work w/ the schools in Youngstown I was flabbergasted. Then when I read that Diane Shelia Rollins was a "now" a principal in Youngstown and in fact hired Sanders my jaw hit the floor. As I read the few posts in support of this educational/ business decision all I can do is shake my head as well as think that these posts a mere shills. Anyone half way familiar w the way Sanders left CMSD would see just how his assertion that he is a "Transformation Specialist" is laughable at best. Does the people of Youngstown know that Sanders "retired" about halfway into the 1st year his "Transformation Plan" was implemented? He cut tail, broke north, ran, and left the people of Cleveland high and dry. Do the people in Youngstown know that the new CMSD CEO Eric Gordon pretty much asserted that he himself was in fact the chief architect of the CMSD Transformation plan? So who is the real transformation specialist? Do the people of Youngstown also know that the same Transformation plan is being "revamped" already w/ new legislation being presented in Columbus? Before the question is asked yes I am an African American the fact that this question is even being posed showed the level of the person posing the question. See I am the kind of African American that doesn't offer someone my support just because the person happens to be black. This is the same state of mind that has just about every inner city in America a cesspool for corrupt and immoral politicians (see Cuyahoga County for an example). I am also somewhat familiar/ with Shelia Diane Rollins how/ why did she leave CMSD and in the middle of the school year? She turns around gets hired by Youngstown schools then she hires her ex-boss as an "consultant"? Now that doesn't sound suspect to you? Hmmm. I really wish that the Cleveland Plain Dealer would have posted this article on their website instead of just putting it in the printed paper then you could see a real response from the people of Cleveland not a few Pro Sanders posts from people that either work for Rollins or Sanders. Also the highest ranking CMSD had during Sanders tenure was due to work done by his predecessor BBB I would even assert that most of the specialized schools were already being set up or already functioning prior to his hire (See John Hay High School etc). If anything he was good at closing school and I will agree that this needed to be done, he also was good at product branding and marketing (new CMSD name, and logo), as well as self promotion (his picture and likeness all over CMSD website). All and all this is an complete joke.

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12studentfirst(1 comment)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

As a former high school student, Dr. Sanders has supported me fully in during my college process. He has written college and scholarship recommends for me along with providing me with moral support and encouragement. I think we have to look at this situation from both sides. From a student perspective I can speak on how much he has helped me in my college pursuit and getting me ready and prepared to take my talents to the next level. So until you have a situation where he directly impacted your lives I think that you should not be the one to point the finger.

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