Who We Are



The Cleveland Transformation Alliance (CTA) is a trusted community partner working to ensure every student is engaged in a high-quality, equitable education. The CTA gives families and students the information they need to commit to their best-fit public school.


Cleveland is a thriving community where every child is flourishing in their best-fit school.


Equity: We work within our mission ensuring every student in our city is engaged in high-quality public education and experiences conditions that support a high quality of life (including healthcare, community connections, and having basic needs met).

● Family Impact: We build personal connections and trust with families. For us, a positive result is providing families the resources and connections they need to support best-fit school choice.

● Research-Based: We use the best research for meaningful action in our relentless pursuit of quality public education for every student in our city.

● Transparency: We are open and clear in how we work, and how we share information in our community, for the purpose of building trust.

Collaboration: We are conveners of work and conversations that elevate the voices of students and those who support them, to drive forward our vision for high-quality public education in our city. We are better together.

The Transformation Alliance Work Roles

Cleveland’s Plan for Transforming Schools outlines four work roles for the Transformation Alliance:

  1. We Assess

    Assess the quality of all district and charter schools in Cleveland.
    The Alliance will work with the CMSD and partnering charter schools to adopt a quality framework to consistently evaluate the performance of all public schools in Cleveland. This framework will be evidence-based, comprehensive and look objectively at academic, financial and operational performance, as well as student, parent and teacher satisfaction. All public district and charter schools in Cleveland will be annually assessed using this framework. Once collected and analyzed, the Alliance will work with the state to ensure that all schools are held accountable for performance, and recommend speedy closure as necessary.

  2. We Communicate

    Communicate to families about quality school options in Cleveland.
    The Alliance will be responsible for communication with the public (in particular students and their families) about the quality of public schools in Cleveland. The Alliance will produce an annual report summarizing the results of the school quality reviews and will mount an aggressive marketing campaign during open enrollment to provide students and families with the information they need to make good educational choices.

  3. We Ensure

    Ensure fidelity to the citywide education plan – The Cleveland Plan .
    The Alliance will ensure that all components of the plan are implemented based on an agreed upon timeline and measures of success. In particular, the Alliance will work with the CMSD and partnering charter schools to develop a multi-year plan to ensure that Cleveland is developing a diverse set of educational options for students and families across the city. The Alliance will have a particular focus on bringing the best national education models to Cleveland and spurring models unique to our city with local community partners. The Alliance will also develop venues for the community and institutions to have a voice in the development of new schools. The Alliance will monitor and ensure faithful execution of the plan for the benefit of all of Cleveland’s children. Should conflicts arise among any of the Alliance partners, the Alliance will serve as the mediator and provide written recommendations to be considered by the parties in the resolution of these conflicts.

  4. We Monitor

    Monitor the quality of all district and charter schools in Cleveland.
    Currently, Cleveland has no ability to influence the quality of charter schools that open within city limits nor whether failing schools close. As a first step, the Alliance will promote standards developed by the National Association of Charter School Authorizers as it relates to the authorization of new charter schools and timely closure of failing charters. In order to open a charter school in the City of Cleveland, the Alliance will request that the state require “sign off” by the Alliance in addition to sponsorship by an authorized entity as currently defined in state law. To ensure fairness and transparency, an appeals process to the Ohio Department of Education will be defined should the Alliance deny approval to a charter school that meets the defined standards.


Meghann Marnecheck

Executive Director

The Board of Directors

Mayor Justin M. Bibb chairs the Board of Directors of the Cleveland Transformation Alliance. The board includes representatives from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, partnering charter schools and charter organizations, parents and educators, local foundations, and other community and business leaders. The Board meets eight times a year at the headquarters of the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority at 8120 Kinsman Road in Cleveland. Additional Board meeting dates and details can be found using this link: News & Events.

Honorable Justin M. Bibb, Chair
Mayor, City of Cleveland

Mark Baumgartner
Director of Professional Issues, Cleveland Teachers Union

Anne Bingham
Chair, Cleveland Board of Education

Erin Deimling
Client and Community Relations Director, PNC

Diane Downing
Executive Director, Say Yes to Education Cleveland

Lee Friedman
Chief Executive Officer, College Now Greater Cleveland

Richard M. Gibson
Pastor, Elizabeth Baptist Church

Eric Gordon
Chief Executive Officer, Cleveland Metropolitan School District

Robert Heard
Vice Chair, Cleveland Board of Education

Sharon Sobol Jordan
Founder & CEO, OpenSpace Solutions, LLC.

Katie Kelly
Executive Director, PRE4CLE

Brooke King
Executive Director, The Intergenerational Schools

Stephanie Klupinski
Vice President, Legal Affairs, Buckeye Community Hope Foundation

Maggie McGrath
Executive Director, Higher Education Compact of Greater Cleveland

Shana Marbury
General Counsel and Senior Vice President, Education & Workforce, Greater Cleveland Partnership

Ann Mullin
Senior Program Officer, George Gund Foundation

Jeffery Patterson
Chief Executive Officer, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority

August A. Napoli
President and Chief Executive Officer, United Way of Greater Cleveland

Kevin Payton
President, Cleveland Council of Administrators and Supervisors

Erin Randel

José Reyes
Pastor, Nueva Vida Church

Victor A. Ruiz
Executive Director, Esperanza, Inc.

Turkessa Tenney

Dr. Helen Williams
Program Director for Education, Cleveland Foundation

Dr. Sajit Zachariah
Dean, College of Education and Human Services, Cleveland State University

John Zitzner
President, Friends of Breakthrough Schools

Our History

In late 2011, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson charged the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, the philanthropic sector, the business community and representatives of the charter sector to develop a plan to fundamentally reinvent public education in Cleveland. Cleveland’s Plan for Transforming Schools was presented to Ohio’s governor and legislative leadership in February 2012. The plan is based on an emerging national model—the portfolio strategy—that is showing promising results in other cities across the country. Key characteristics of this approach include: citywide choices and options for all families, school autonomy, student-based budgeting, external support, talent-seeking strategy, extensive public engagement, and performance-based accountability for all schools.

The Cleveland Plan details our city’s proposed transition from a traditional, single-source school district to a new performance-based system of district and charter schools that work in partnership to create dramatic student achievement gains for every child. It is built upon growing the number of excellent schools in Cleveland, regardless of provider, and giving these schools autonomy over staffing, time and budgets in exchange for high accountability for performance.

Funding for the Cleveland Transformation Alliance is provided by the Cleveland Foundation, the George Gund Foundation, the Kent Smith Charitable Trust, the Greater Cleveland Partnership, the United Way of Greater Cleveland, the Sisters of Charity Foundation, the Lubrizol Foundation, RPM International, Inc., and the Dominion Foundation.