(Downtown) - Cleveland Metropolitan School District CEO Eric Gordon delivered his annual State of the Schools address.

Speaking to about 850 people at a special session of the Cleveland City Club at Public Auditorium, Gordon said that the district is making huge advances due the passage of a levy and approve of the Cleveland Transformation Plan.

Gordon admits that much more progress has to be made if the district is to make significant improvements in test scores and the graduation rate.

He told the gathering that "The clock is ticking on the children of Cleveland....and we must improve. It is daunting, we are at the bottom of Ohio's districts."

Afterwards Gordon told Newsradio WTAM 1100 that the district is taking the first steps in the right direction, with plans to hire over 100 teachers, and with class sizes being reduced to 25 to 30 students.

Gordon contends there's a new attitude in many school buildings, with a change of the culture, with a new determination to learn.

However, mayoral candidate Ken Lanci listened to the speech and remained critical of the district. He told Newsradio WTAM 1100 that even though students returned to their classrooms a month ago, many pupils and teachers still don't have the supplies they need.

Lanci maintained, while Cleveland's graduation rate remains at 50%, graduation rates at neighboring school districts has soared. He believes the new Transformation Plan is not enough, that a new administration with a different vision is needed to carry out that plan.

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