ERS would like to congratulate our district partners—Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Boston Public Schools, and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District—on their 2015 NAEP results. These three districts were bright spots in a year of lackluster results nationwide. Boston and Charlotte retained their places among the top urban districts in the nation, while Cleveland recorded among the largest district gains.
A common denominator across these districts is a strong vision for improving education for all students and consistent focus on that vision. Each district has made fundamental changes to systems and structures to improve support and flexibility for schools to meet the needs of their students.
CMS, led by Superintendent Ann Clark, ranked first among urban districts in average math scores on NAEP, second in 4th grade reading and third in 8th grade reading. Despite two superintendent transitions over the last four years, Charlotte has sought to maintain a focus on continuous improvement. Keys to success include:
Boston ranked second to Charlotte in 8th grade math and was among the top five districts in reading. BPS has benefited from over a decade of high Massachusetts academic standards and, like Charlotte, has a history of investing deeply in supporting teacher teams in evolving instructional practice by looking at student work. New Superintendent Dr. Tommy Chang hopes to build on the district’s successes and accelerate change in areas that are lagging. Keys to success include:
In 2013, Cleveland ranked near the bottom of urban districts. While CMSD still has a long way to go, scores improved in all four categories, and Cleveland’s gains are “uniformly larger and better than any other school district in the country,” according to Michael Casserly, Executive Director of the Council of The Great City Schools. The transformation in Cleveland, lead by Superintendent Eric Gordon and his team, is more recent than in Charlotte or Boston, but employs some similar approaches. Keys to success include:
We applaud the students, teachers, and leaders in these three districts for their courage and commitment to doing what it takes to make every school succeed for every student.