MAC Continues Support for Cleveland Metropolitan School District With Teacher Retention and Development Programs

August 30, 2018

MAC-CFP Foundation $1 Million Grant for Cleveland Metropolitan School District supports teachers with kickoff New Teachers’ reception for 200 teachers on August 30

Cleveland, Ohio – The $1 million-dollar grant by the Mid-American Conference (MAC), College Football Playoff (CFP) Foundation, The George Gund Foundation and Cleveland Foundation to the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) and its TEACHing Cleveland program for teacher retention programming will continue for this upcoming 2018-19 school year after positive results from last year’s initial start in supporting Cleveland’s public school teachers.

To kickoff the school year, a New Teachers’ Reception for over 200 teachers from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District will be held on Thursday, August 30 at 4:00 pm ET at Nuevo Modern Mexican restaurant.

Last year, TEACHing Cleveland was developed to foster and enhance new teacher development, focused on culture, exposure to successful practitioners and as a result increase teacher retention rates. Last year’s efforts featured two specific programs -- a New Teachers’ Reception and a New Teachers’ Learning Series, which focused on excellence in teaching from its Excellence in Teaching Award Winners and helping new teachers adjust to Cleveland and its school culture. Following the first year of the program the retention rate of new CMSD teachers improved by three percent, with an 81% retention rate for the 2017-18 school year compared to 78% the previous year.

For the 2018-19 school year, TEACHing Cleveland will continue its New Teachers’ Reception and the New Teachers’ Learning Series, to once again provide excellence in teaching programming and nurture new teachers to the culture of Cleveland. In addition, two new programs will be initiated to the new teacher induction experience including a Resident Educator Teacher on Assignment (RE-TOA) and Teaching Channel Plus, for first and second year teachers.

The RE-TOA is a full-time release mentor assigned to 10 new teachers. Three teachers will be hired in this position for the 2018-19 school year. The full-time release model means that new teachers will have greater access to their mentors for support, coaching, modeling and other mentoring activities. The RE-TOA’s will also be available to assist with the immediate needs of other new teachers in the district.

The Teaching Channel Plus creates an environment where teachers can watch, share and learn new teaching techniques. Teaching Channel Plus is an online learning and collaboration platform which connects new teachers with their mentors as well as various professional resources for planning, classroom management and differentiating instruction.

With continuation of the New Teachers’ Reception and New Teachers’ Learning Series, and the addition of the RE-TOA and Teaching Channel Plus programs, the CMSD, MAC and CFP Foundation are excited to see the positive results in retaining teachers in Cleveland.


MAC-CFP Foundation $1 Million Grant For Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD):
Last year (Sept. 18, 2017) the Mid-American Conference (MAC) secured a $1 million-dollar grant* to the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) over a five-year period (2017-21) for TEACHing Cleveland, a program to focus on teacher recruitment, mentoring and retention.

The MAC secured funding for this program from the College Football Playoff (CFP) Foundation through its Extra Yard for Teachers platform with a $500,000 contribution toward TEACHing Cleveland. The MAC also secured $250,000 from The George Gund Foundation over a five-year period (2017-21) and $150,000 from the Cleveland Foundation over a three-year period (2017-19). The MAC will reapply for the additional funding from the Cleveland Foundation for the 2020 and 2021 school years.

This grant provides the CMSD and the Cleveland Teachers Union an opportunity to collaborate in recruiting, developing and retaining new teachers to best support the Cleveland area students and community.

The TEACHing Cleveland program will develop programs to assist in the recruitment of highly skilled teachers, foster new teacher development, focusing on culture, exposure to successful practitioners and as a result increasing retention rates.

The MAC is the only Conference among the 10 FBS leagues to secure a matching donation from the original financial commitment by the CFP Foundation.


Quotes regarding the MAC-CFP support for the TEACHing Cleveland program:
“The Mid-American Conference is proud to partner with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District to provide funding for this important initiative,” said MAC Commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher. “Teachers are a critical factor in a child’s educational success. Through TEACHing Cleveland we will facilitate greater retention of quality teachers to the betterment of the students and to the betterment of Cleveland. I want to thank and applaud the collaborative efforts of the College Football Playoff Foundation, the Cleveland Foundation and The George Gund Foundation in sharing our vision in support Cleveland schools.”

“Increasingly, we are seeing the most talented and dedicated teachers electing to teach in urban school districts, and this funding will be instrumental in our efforts to support and retain those teachers in Cleveland,” said Cleveland Metropolitan School District CEO Eric Gordon. “While the choice to educate children of poverty is enormously challenging, our goal is to ensure teaching in Cleveland is equally rewarding.”

“We are proud to partner with the Mid-American Conference to improve the recruitment and retention of teachers in Cleveland schools through our Extra Yard for Teachers platform,” said CFP Foundation Executive Director Britton Banowsky. “We are also honored to align our investments with both the Cleveland Foundation and The George Gund Foundation. Our collective hope is that every student will have an excellent teacher in their classroom to support their personal growth and academic achievement.”

“We want great teachers to commit to Cleveland and to our children. We know that means supporting them in their early years, getting them to fall in love with our schools and our city, and making them feel as though they are part of transforming children’s lives,” said Ann Mullin, senior program officer for The George Gund Foundation.

“We recognize that great teachers are key to improving student achievement,” said Helen Williams, Cleveland Foundation program director for education. “That is why we in recent years have collaborated with the district as well as other key partners in recruiting passionate and talented teachers locally and from around the country. The TEACHing Cleveland program, made possible through this partnership with the Mid-American Conference and the College Football Playoff Foundation, will ensure that we are able to not only attract these talented educators, but also deeply engage, develop and retain them – a critical element in ensuring bright futures for CMSD students.”

“The Cleveland Teachers Union understands the critical need to provide new teachers with the resources, mentoring and support networks that are essential in building and retaining new teachers in the Cleveland Schools,” said David Quolke, president of the Cleveland Teachers Union. “We are looking forward to partnering with the Mid-American Conference, College Football Playoff Foundation, the Cleveland Foundation, the George Gund Foundation and the CMSD in this endeavor.”


*MAC Grant to Cleveland Metropolitan School District
• The CFP Foundation pledged $500,000 for five years (2017-21)
• The George Gund Foundation pledged $250,000 for five years (2017-21)
• The Cleveland Foundation pledged $150,000 for three years (2017-19). The MAC will reapply for the additional funding from the Cleveland Foundation for the 2020 and 2021 school years.



Founded in 1946, the Mid-American Conference is an NCAA Division I, 12-member conference that sponsors 23 championships and is one of 10 members of the Football Bowl Subdivison (FBS). With total enrollment of nearly 300,000 students, the league represents institutions of higher learning in five states - Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, and Ohio.

Current MAC schools and the year they joined are -- East Division: University of Akron (1992), Bowling Green State University (1952), University at Buffalo (1998), Kent State University (1951), Miami University (1947), Ohio University (1946). West Division: Ball State University (1973), Central Michigan University (1971), Eastern Michigan University (1971), Northern Illinois University (1975-86, rejoined in 1997), University of Toledo (1950), Western Michigan University (1947). The conference office is based in Cleveland, Ohio.

The College Football Playoff (CFP) Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the College Football Playoff, supporting education across the country. The CFP Foundation’s primary cause platform, Extra Yard for Teachers, is dedicated to elevating the teaching profession by inspiring and empowering teachers in four focus areas: resources, recognition, recruitment and professional development. The CFP Foundation utilizes multiple partnerships to execute its initiatives and support positive educational outcomes. To learn more, visit and follow Extra Yard for Teachers (@CFPExtraYard) on social media.

MEDIA CONTACT: Ken Mather, Assistant Commissioner/Media & Public Relations, 216-566-4622 x301

Sharon Lyle