The Council of the Great City Schools (CGCS) brings together 78 of the nation’s largest urban public school systems in a coalition dedicated to the improvement of education for children in the inner cities. The Council and its member school districts work to help our schoolchildren meet the highest standards and become successful and productive members of society.
The Council keeps the nation’s lawmakers, the media, and the public informed about the progress and problems in big-city schools. The organization does this through legislation, communications, research, and technical assistance.
The organization also helps to build capacity in urban education with programs to boost academic performance and narrow achievement gaps; improve professional development; and strengthen leadership, governance, and management.
The Council of the Great City Schools accomplishes its mission by connecting urban school district personnel from coast to coast who work under similar conditions. Staff with responsibilities for curricula, research and testing, finance, operations, personnel, technology, legislation, communications, and other areas confer regularly under the Council’s auspices to share concerns and solutions and discuss what works in boosting achievement and managing operations.
In addition, joint efforts with other national organizations, corporations, and government policymakers extend the Council’s influence and effectiveness outside member school districts to the larger, interdependent world that will ultimately benefit from the contributions of today’s urban students.
Since the organization’s founding in 1956, geographic, ethnic, language, and cultural diversity has typified the Council’s membership. That diversity propels the coalition forward to see that all citizens receive an education that will equip them with the skills and knowledge to compete successfully in the world marketplace and to enhance the quality of their lives in a society changing with phenomenal speed. The wellspring of accomplishments and innovations rising from our inner cities testifies to the resounding benefits of investment in the nation’s urban centers and in their public schools.