Council of the Great City Schools

Links and resources selected by this coalition of school districts in the 50 largest U.S. cities

  • Our Mission: It is the special mission of America’s urban public schools to educate the nation’s most diverse student body to the highest academic standards and prepare them to contribute to our democracy and the global community.
  • Our Vision: Urban public schools exist to teach students to the highest standards of educational excellence. As the primary American institution responsible for weaving the strands of our society into a cohesive fabric, we — the leaders of America’s Great City Schools — see a future where the nation cares for all children, expects their best, appreciates their diversity, invests in their futures, and welcomes their participation in the American dream … (full text Vision/Mission/Goals).

Legislative Services; Research; Current Projects; Conferences; Publications; News; Staff; Calendar;
Address: Council of the Great City Schools, 1301 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Suite 702, Washington, D.C. 20004, USA;
Contact /Fact Sheet.

Information about the Council: The Council of the Great City Schools is the only national organization exclusively representing the needs of urban public schools. Founded in 1956 and incorporated in 1961, the Council is located in Washington, D.C., where it works to promote urban education through legislation, research, media relations, instruction, management, technology, and other special projects.  

The Council is governed by a Board of Directors composed of the Superintendent of Schools and one School Board member from each city, making it the only independent national organization so constituted and the only organization whose sole purpose is urban education.

The Council and its member districts strive to help schoolchildren in the Great Cities become successful and productive members of the global community. The Council informs the nation’s policymakers, the media, and the public of the successes and challenges of schools in the nation’s Great Cities. And urban school leaders from across the country use the organization as a source of information and an umbrella for their joint activities and concerns.

The organization also helps to build capacity in urban education with programs to boost academic performance and narrow achievement gaps; improve professional development; enhance the opportunity to learn; and strengthen leadership, governance, and management.

In addition, joint efforts with other organizations, agencies, corporations, policymakers, and coalitions extend the voice of the Great City Schools beyond its individual members onto a broader national stage 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 well-spring 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.

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