- Council of the Great City Schools
- 2022 Year-In-Review
Urban School Leaders Partner With Police Leaders
The Council partnered with the International Association of Chiefs of Police to launch the Joint Task Force on School Safety and Justice, aimed at identifying approaches to improve student safety in urban communities across the country.
Education Officials Address Big-City School Leaders at Legislative Conference
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona; Deputy Secretary of Education Cindy Marten; Catherine Lhamon, assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights; and Mary Wall, the White House senior education policy advisor on COVID-19; addressed urban educators at the Council’s Legislative/Policy Conference, March 19-22, in Washington, D.C.
Council Held a Series of Job-Alike Meetings
“Job-alike” meetings and conferences were held throughout the year to provide senior level administrators in Council districts the opportunity to share best practices.
- Chief Information Officers Conference, February 15-18, 2022, Atlanta
- Chief Financial Officers/ HRD/Personnel Directors Meeting, April 10-14, 2022, St. Petersburg, FL
- Bilingual Directors Meeting, May 9-14, 2022, San Antonio
- Superintendent Curriculum Development Meeting, June 10-12, 2022, Jacksonville
- Curriculum & Research Directors' Meeting, July 10-14, 2022, Columbus, OH
- Public Relations Executives Meeting, July 14-16, 2022, Chicago
- Chief Operating Officers Conference, November 8-11, 2022, New Orleans
Legacy Award Presented to Rep. “Bobby” Scott
Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.) was named the recipient of the Dr. Michael Casserly Legacy Award for Educational Courage and Justice. Sponsored by Curriculum Associates, the award, named after the Council’s former executive director, is presented annually to a person who has made outstanding contributions in the field of K–12 urban education by taking courageous and passionate stances on the issues of educational justice and equity.
Council Welcomes New Staff
Willie Burroughs, a veteran school business official, was named the Council’s director of management services. Burroughs succeeded Robert Carlson, who had served as director of management services for 29 years and remains with the Council as a senior advisor.
Michael Hinojosa, the former superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District, joined the Council as a Superintendent-in-Residence. In this position, Hinojosa will direct the Council’s leadership development work and support and advise superintendents across the Council’s member districts.
Jeff Simmering, director of legislation at the Council since 1994, retired after 28 years of service and succeeding him was Manish Naik, the Council’s manager of legislative services since 2005. And after 17 years as the Council’s chief academic officer, Ricki Price-Baugh retired.
L.A. School Board President to Lead the Council
Kelly Gonez, school board president for the Los Angeles Unified School District, became chair of the Council’s Board of Directors. Guadalupe Guerrero, superintendent of Oregon’s Portland Public Schools, became chair-elect, and Darrel Woo, school board member for Sacramento City Unified School District, was elected to the secretary-treasurer post.
CGCS-Bernard Harris Scholarships Awarded
Four graduating high school seniors from Boston Public Schools, Newark Public Schools, Dallas Independent School District, and the Fort Worth Independent School District each received a $5,000 CGCS-Bernard Harris Math and Science Scholarship. Now in its fourth year, the scholarship was created by former NASA astronaut Dr. Bernard Harris, the first African-American to walk in space, to encourage and assist promising students of diverse backgrounds who plan to pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) studies after high school.
Richard M. Robinson Literacy Champion Award General George G. Meade School in Philadelphia received more than 15,000 new books, teaching materials, and a library makeover as the first recipient of the Richard M. Robinson Literacy Champion Award. The annual award, sponsored by Scholastic in collaboration with the Council, is named in honor of the late Scholastic Chairman and CEO, Richard (Dick) Robinson and recognizes a Council member school district for demonstrated progress in advancing reading achievement.
Council Files Amicus Brief in Higher Education Admissions Cases
On behalf of the Council, Husch Blackwell submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court of the United States in connection with the cases Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina, urging the Court to retain the race-conscious admissions procedures allowed under its prior decisions. The Council’s brief detailed the persistent role segregation and educational inequality at the elementary and secondary level have played in creating and maintaining racial and ethnic achievement gaps among K-12 students. The Council noted that the performance and graduation outcomes for students of color in Harvard, Yale, and other universities is equivalent to their peers when given the opportunity.
Council Releases Guides on Federal Relief Funds
One year after publishing the Investing American Rescue Plan Funds Strategically and Effectively, the Council released a follow-up set of Interim Progress Assessment Guides to help member districts evaluate their investment and implementation efforts. The guides are specifically designed to help district leaders and staff assess their investments or activities in specific areas. These areas include investments in technology; investments in operations and facilities; investments in leadership development and staff capacity; and investments in instructional materials, programming, and services.
Students in Most Urban Districts Held Steady in Reading on National Test
The 2022 Nation’s Report Card for the Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) shows most participating districts held steady in fourth- and eighth-grade reading and mirrored national trends in math. In general, large city schools lost ground on the nation in only one of four subject/grade combinations (fourth grade math) while two of four areas (fourth-grade reading and eighth-grade math) showed performance that mirrored the nation. Read press release.
66th Annual Fall Conference in Orlando
The Council held its 66th Annual Fall Conference in Orlando, Fla., Oct. 23-27. Hosted by Orange County Public Schools, the conference featured CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta; immigration advocate and journalist Jose Antonio Vargas; social justice activist and educator Brittany Packnett Cunningham; and Deputy Secretary of Education Cindy Marten. The conference also featured a national town hall meeting on Politics and Public Education, moderated by Education Week editor-in-chief Beth Frerking.
Detroit Superintendent Named Urban Educator of the Year
Detroit Public Schools Community District Superintendent Nikolai Vitti was named the Council’s 2022 Urban Superintendent of the Year at the 33rd Annual Green-Garner Award Banquet in Orlando, Fla. Sponsored by the Council and Scholastic, the Green-Garner award is presented each year in memory of Richard R. Green, the first African American chancellor of the New York City school system, and businessman Edward Garner, who served on the Denver school board.
Council Provided Strategic Support Team Reviews
The Council provided in-depth district assessments, technical assistance, and peer reviews to its members called “Strategic Support Teams.” At the end of the review, the district received a comprehensive report with findings and recommendations. Reviews were conducted in:
Boston Public Schools- special education, safety and security, and transportation
East Baton Rouge Parish Schools- human resources, special education, and bilingual education
Rochester City School District- human resources, operations
Broward County Public Schools- information technology
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools- information technology
Houston Independent School District- safety and security
Sacramento City Unified School District- human resources
St. Louis Public Schools- human resources
4 New Council Members
Four urban school districts—Fayette County Public Schools in Kentucky; Phoenix Union High School District in Arizona; Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools in North Carolina; and Little Rock School District in Arkansas—joined the Council in 2022, bringing the number of urban public districts represented by the Council to 78.
Council Trains School Board Members
The Council conducts training sessions for school board members in Council member districts on effective leadership. Training sessions were held for school boards in the Aurora Public Schools, Austin Independent School District, Anchorage Public Schools, Seattle Public Schools, Albuquerque Public Schools, Tulsa Public Schools, Columbus Public Schools, Charleston County School District, San Francisco Unified School District, Richmond Public Schools, North Carolina’s Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District, Cincinnati Public Schools, Atlanta Public Schools, Des Moines Public Schools, and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.
Michael Casserly Urban School Executive Leadership
The Council launched a series of professional learning cohorts for superintendents, school board members, and executive leaders as part of the Michael Casserly Urban School Executive Leadership Institute. The aim of the Institute is to prepare future leaders to take on the challenges facing large urban school districts.
Council Featured in More Than 50 Stories
The Council was sought out for our expertise in urban education by numerous print, radio, television, and web media, and featured in 52 stories in 2022. Our work was highlighted by a broad range of media outlets, including the New York Times, Education Week, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Chalkbeat among others.
ARP Marketing Campaign Launched
The Council launched a marketing campaign to highlight how its member urban school districts are using American Rescue Plan funds (ARP) or Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds (ESSER) in their respective school districts to implement programs that address a variety of student issues exacerbated by the pandemic. #CGCSARP https://www.cgcs.org/arp