In 2002 the Council of the Great City Schools and its members set out to develop performance measures that could be used to improve business operations in urban public school districts. The Council launched the Performance Measurement and Benchmarking Project to achieve these objectives. The purposes of the project were to:
Establish a common set of key performance indicators (KPIs) in a range of school operations, including business services finances, human resources, and technology;
Use these KPIs to benchmark and compare the performance of the nation's largest urban public school systems;
Use the results to improve operational performance in urban public schools
Since its inception, the project has been led by two Council task forces operating under the aegis of the organization's Board of Directors: the Task
Force on Leadership, Governance, and Management and the Task Force on Finance. The project’s work has been conducted by a team of member-district managers , technical advisors with extensive expertise in the following functional areas : business services (transportation, food services, maintenance and operations, safety and security), budget and finance (accounts payable, financial management, grants management, risk management, compensation, procurement and cash management), information technology and human resources.