Date of Award


Degree Type



Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs

First Advisor

Mikelbank, Brian

Subject Headings

Public schools -- Ohio -- Cleveland, Education, Urban -- Ohio -- Cleveland, Community development, Urban -- Ohio -- Cleveland, Tremont (Cleveland, Ohio), Central Business Districts -- Ohio -- Cleveland, Detroit Shoreway (Cleveland, Ohio), Ohio City (Cleveland, Ohio), Cleveland, Urban Schools, Community Development, Neighborhood revitalization, Ohio City, Tremont, Detroit Shoreway, Downtown Cleveland, Sprawl


This paper examines the effect of poor school quality on neighborhood revitalization efforts in four Cleveland neighborhoods: Ohio City, Detroit Shoreway, Tremont and Downtown. The report employs survey research and real estate data analysis to examine the extent to which failing public schools encourage residents to leave the city for the suburbs, undermining efforts at revitalization. The research was particularly concerned with examining the effect on middle-class residents, or "residents of choice," who chose to live in Cleveland although other options are available to them financially. Original research bore out common assumptions about the impact of poorly performing local schools on middle-class tenure in the city. A survey of 271 Near West and Downtown Cleveland residents revealed an overwhelmingly negative perception of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. Prospective parents almost universally reported they do not perceive the urban school district to be a viable option for their future children. Only 9 percent reported they would remain in the city and send their children to a public school, given the opportunity. This attitude was reflected as well in the neighborhood's parents, a clear majority of which (65 percent) reported their children are enrolled in private schools. It is easy to see how this negative perception of the public school system could hinder residential and neighborhood stability. About 72 percent of those surveyed said they either "had not reached the stage in their life for children," or had children that have not reached school age. A total of 62 percent of this population said they would move to a suburban district when the time came, or that they "weren't sure" whether they would move or stay. A supporting real estate analysis, although limited in scope, showed that 66 percent of neighborhood residents who sold homes valued at $100,000 or more relocated to a suburban municipality. These results have important implications for these four "emerging neighborhoods." Advocate