Dr. Warren Morgan was chosen by the Cleveland Board of Education as CEO of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Cleveland's largely Black public school district
By Kathy Wray Coleman, associate publisher, editor-in-chief, and political, educational, and investigative journalist
CLEVELAND, Ohio-The Cleveland Board of Education, whose members are appointed by the city mayor under state law, has chosen a Black man to replace outgoing CEO Dr. Eric Gordon and to lead Cleveland's largely Black 33,000 pupil public school district. Gordon held the position for 11 years and until Mayor Justin Bibb, a visionary Black mayor who took office in January 2022, decided that education would be a major priority relative to his first term as mayor, and that the school district district in the majority Black major American city of some 372,00 people needs fresh leadership.
Dr. Warren Morgan, who is Black, and Dr. Ricardo “Rocky” Torres, a Hispanic man, were both the finalists for the top position in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and after interviewing before Mayor Bibb and eight community panels that included teachers, staff, parents, students, community partners and union and district leadership the school board selected Morgan for the job.
“Words can’t describe how excited I am for this opportunity," Morgan said after he was introduced by the amenable Gordan during a press conference on Tuesday.
The new CEO said that he is extremely humbled, honored, and grateful, and that people are "counting on us." He will lead a school district that struggles with heightened poverty, inequitable educational resources, low parental involvement, and standardized test scores that are collectively dismal at best.
Dr. Morgan will officially begin his new position in July and is currently the chief academic officer for Indianapolis public schools He is also a former White House fellow under presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump and holds an E.d D. from the University of Illinois-Chicago He worked for the school district from 2014-2016 as a network leader for the district's phase 2 investment schools.
Cleveland schools are under mayoral control per a state law that took effect in 1998 when the school district and the state of Ohio were released from the longstanding Cleveland schools desegregation case, a case officially titled Reed v Rhodes. Such law, which was sponsored by Republican state lawmakers, eliminated an elected school board and gave the city mayor the power to appoint school board members. Cleveland voters, via a ballot referendum, later sanctioned the mayoral control law (House Bill 269) at the ballot box following a cleverly crafted referendum campaign pushed by district officials and then mayor Jane Campbell.
Campbell lost reelection to Frank Jackson, Mayor Bibb's predecessor and the city's longest serving mayor.