North Carolina’s Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is the 2013 recipient of the National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE) Annual Award for Urban School Board Excellence.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has increased student test scores, hit a new high in the graduation rate, and the school board has raised its standing with the public by engaging the community in strategic decisions that will influence the school system’s future.
“School leaders for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools are truly meeting the challenge to increase student success and achievement in a diverse and large school district,” said NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel. “The National School Boards Association is pleased to honor the Board of Education for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools with the Council of Urban Boards of Education Annual Award for Urban School Board Excellence for all their accomplishments.”
The announcement was made during the Saturday luncheon at the CUBE Annual Conference being held this weekend in San Antonio. The CUBE Annual Award for Urban School Board Excellence is supported by NSBA’s corporate partner, Sodexo, which has graciously underwritten the awards ceremony.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is a 141,000-student school system, the nation’s 18th largest. Since 2008, student test scores have risen on most measures, with scores for third through eighth graders on state end-of-grade exams rising by 15 percentage points or more in English and math. In science, proficiency rates are up by 34 points.
Some of the biggest gains have been among minority and economically disadvantaged students—a welcome reward for the innovative and aggressive efforts that the school board and superintendent have put into closing the racial and economic achievement gap. Another sign of their progress is the 81 percent high school graduation rate, which has risen 15 points over the past five years.
“We are very honored to receive this award on behalf of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools,” said Mary T. McCray, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ Board chairperson. “All of us on the Board are dedicated to improving the education and the lives of our students. This award recognizes the hard work we’ve done as a Board, and as a district, to achieve that mission and we are grateful to the Council of Urban Boards of Education for this recognition.”
This is the 10th annual CUBE Annual Award for Urban School Board Excellence and the first time a North Carolina school district has received the award.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools was selected by an independent judging panel based on materials submitted by the school district, independent follow-up research, and information provided by the district’s state school boards association.
The judges selected the winner based on the following four criteria: Excellence in school board governance; building civic capacity; closing the achievement gap—equity in education; and demonstrated success of academic excellence.
“Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has done an exceptional job at developing a strategic plan with community involvement and has focused on implementing that plan to continuously improve student achievement,” said Dr. Ed Dunlap, Jr. Executive Director of the North Carolina School Boards Association. “By receiving the Council of Urban Boards of Education Annual Award for Urban School Board Excellence, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will serve as a successful governance model for excellence in our state and for urban school districts across the country.”
The Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE) is NSBA’s program supporting urban school boards and fostering effective leadership for excellence and equity in public education, with a specific focus on underrepresented students. CUBE provides educational opportunities that engage urban school districts and district leaders, working through their state school boards association, while addressing challenges in urban centers. CUBE represents nearly 100 urban school districts in 35 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The districts that comprise CUBE educate nearly 7.5 million students in over 12,000 schools, with a collective budget of approximately $99 billion.
For more information on CUBE, the award, and past winners, please visit www.nsba.org/cube.