A lot has been said (and some things have been written) about “The Castle” on Grand Avenue. That’s the building that houses the students, teachers, and staff members of Cleveland High School.
The Castle is an important building in deplorable condition: leaky roofs, peeling paint, broken lockers, and damaged floors are just the beginning of the rehab list.
It is reasonable for residents, parents, and staffers to demand a better, cleaner, and safer building. But, I don’t want the School Board to lose sight of something more important: the school’s building is only a secondary issue.
Nothing I have heard (or read) about The Castle’s condition as a building is as devastating as Cleveland’s performance as a high school. Last year, just 3 percent of Cleveland’s students, barely up from less than 1 percent in 2001, were able to perform ’proficient or advanced’ in math and communication arts. Just over half of the seniors bothered to take the ACT, with less than 5 percent of those who did testing at or above the national average. And, last year only 82 percent of the teachers at Cleveland were certified - and, of those, only 38 percent of the teachers have advanced degrees.
I endorse the effort by some School Board members to save and restore Cleveland’s building. There must be, though, an even more urgent and more passionate School Board effort to save Cleveland’s students.