There can be no improvement in education without well-trained teachers, which is why New American Schools' emphasis on the support and preparation of teachers is such a powerful lure for Cincinnati educators.

"We're devoted to the professionalism of teachers, and the Design Teams are all oriented toward the teachers' role," explains Michael Brandt, Superintendent of Cincinnati Public Schools.

In addition, Brandt reports, Cincinnati's reforms and the New American Schools agenda overlap in a number of other important areas.

"All of New American Schools Design Teams talk about standards, performance assessment, professionalizing teaching and decentralization," Brandy says. These areas are priorities in Cincinnati as well, where a group of business leaders helped spark reform in 1991 with the Buenger Commission report that called for "sweeping fundamental change" in the city's school system.

Since the report, the district has been divided into more manageable mini-districts. In addition, the district has reduced central office administrative positions by 60 percent, created a Department of Quality Improvement as an educational research and development center and submitted two balanced budgets in a row (only the fourth and fifth balanced budgets in 20 years). Beginning in September 1995, all of the district's administrators shifted to a pay-for-performance system.

Classrooms in Cincinnati have also begun to change. For example, the district has defined standards in reading/communication, art, mathematics, science and social studies as exit requirements at grades three, six and eight. A student can move form one level to another as soon as he or she can demonstrate proficiency by meeting the new standards -- at any time during the year.

"Our whole school improvement effort is based on high standards tied to accountability for results," says Kathleen Ware, the Director for Quality Improvement for Cincinnati Public School. "We're confident that New American Schools will help our schools bring kids up to higher standards."

Cincinnati Schools:

Number of students


Number of schools


Racial Ethnic Composition

66% African American

31% Caucasian

1% Asian

1% Hispanic

1% Other

Percentage of students receiving free
or reduced-price lunch


During the 1996-1997 school year 16 Cincinnati schools will be working with Co-NECT, Expeditionary Learning, and Roots & Wings.

For More Information Contact:

Monica Curtis
Cincinnati Public Schools
2651 Burnet Avenue
Cincinnati OH 45219

Home | Get to Know Us | Great Schools By Design | Our Communities | Work In Progress
What's New | Let's Talk | Did You Know?