An Urban School Board Gets the Job Done

By Del Stover

Student academic performance always will be a challenge in a large countywide school system, particularly one that serves communities that vary from affluent suburbs to inner-city neighborhoods of deep poverty.

Yet, where it counts -- in evidence of rising student achievement -- the school system in Charlotte, N.C., has plenty to crow about. By most measures, student test scores are on the rise, and some of the biggest gains have been among minority and economically disadvantaged students.

Much of the credit goes to the hard-working teachers and students who toil every day in the classroom. But give credit where credit’s due: The governance team for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, the nation’s 18th largest school system, also has been hard at work to close the racial and economic achievement gap -- and provide a 21st century education to all students.

The school board earned NSBA’s Council of Urban Boards of Education’s (CUBE) Annual Award for Urban Board Excellence this year.

“Our success has a lot to do with our commitment to children and the governance practices that we’ve put in place,” says school board Chair Mary McCray. “When you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and get about the business of doing what needs to be done, all those barriers out there, you can feel them falling by the wayside.”

Subscribers please click here to continue reading. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to purchase this article or to obtain a subscription to ASBJ.