CMS honored for commitment to equity

A comprehensive examination of race, poverty and achievement conducted by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has been nationally recognized for excellence. The district was one of three recognized by the Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE) with a 2018 Annual Award for Urban School Board Excellence.

The award was given to CMS, as well as districts in Fort Worth, Texas, and Jennings, Missouri, at the organization's annual conference in Las Vegas. Winners received a $2,500 prize to be used by the school boards.

"We are very pleased to have our 'Breaking the Link' report recognized by CUBE," said Mary T. McCray, chair of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education. "We are committed to equity and excellence, and 'Breaking the Link' is a critical first step to achieving both."

CUBE is part of the National School Boards Association, the professional organization for local boards. The annual award for excellence is based on the performance of the Board of Education, the district's academic improvement, the commitment to educational equity and community engagement.

 "These districts show that providing urban school children the right educational opportunities can make all the difference," said Thomas J. Gentzel, CEO and executive director of the NSBA.

"Breaking the Link" was released by CMS in February 2018. It examines the relationship between race, poverty and low achievement in the district's 176 schools. The report found that poor students and students of color were clustered in about a third of the district's schools and that their academic performance lagged significantly behind that of their affluent white peers. The report also found curriculum and equity gaps in high-poverty schools.

"The 2024 Strategic Plan: What Matters Most came directly out of the needs documented in 'Breaking the Link'," said Dr. Clayton Wilcox, superintendent. "It was an important indicator for us that we need to change what we are doing if we want to provide excellence and equity to every student. I share the Board of Education's pride in the CUBE award."

The strategic plan is focused on equity, excellence and increasing social/emotional supports for the district's nearly 148,000 students. As part of the plan, CMS established an equity office led by a chief equity officer and added three associate superintendents.

The full "Breaking the Link" report can be found here