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Metro Schools receives Urban School Board Excellence Award

Metro Schools is receiving national recognition for excellence in urban education. The National School Boards Association’s (NSBA’s) Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE) has awarded Metro Schools the 2014 Annual Award for Urban School Board Excellence. Each year CUBE recognizes exemplary school boards for their excellence in school board governance, ability to build civic capacity, success in closing the achievement gap and working for equity in education, and demonstrated success of academic excellence. Georgia’s Fulton County Schools also received the award. At CUBE’s annual conference in Miami Fla., Metro Schools officials had the opportunity to showcase the work underway in Nashville and share success stories and best practices, highlighting the crucial connection between effective school board governance and student achievement.

“Both Fulton County Schools and Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools have shown tangible results due to both strong leadership and innovative change,” said Thomas J. Gentzel, Executive Director, NSBA. “Their success stories are inspiring and have the opportunity to strengthen and propel change in other large school districts.”

"In presenting these excellence awards, CUBE is not only holding these districts up and celebrating their success, but by recognizing these districts, 'the bar' has effectively been raised showing other urban districts what excellence and achievement looks like," said Van Henri White, CUBE Steering Committee Chair, and President of the Rochester New York School Board.

Metro Schools serves a diverse student population of more than 85,000. Approximately 72 percent of Metro students are economically disadvantaged, and 30 percent speak English as a second language. The district was in ‘restructuring status’ in 2009, and now is in good standing for academic progress.

“Metropolitan Nashville Schools has made tremendous progress in the last few years,” said Tammy Grissom, Executive Director, Tennessee School Boards Association. “With a strong and dedicated board superintendent team, they were able to increase their graduation rate, improve student achievement and completely transform the district.”

“To be recognized among our peer districts for the work we are doing here in Nashville is truly a great honor,” said Director of Schools Dr. Jesse Register. “Every day our conversations are around what are we doing for students and how can we do it better. We are on the right path and will continue making the hard decisions required for every student to achieve, but for now I’m happy to take just a moment and celebrate the CUBE award and the progress we have made these past five years.”

In addition to each receiving a $2,500 award, Metro Schools and Fulton County Schools are featured in articles in the fall issue of Urban Advocate, CUBE’s quarterly publication, and will be highlighted throughout the year, following their continued success.