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Fulton County Schools and Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools Receive Urban School Board Excellence Awards

October 4, 2014

Alexandria, Va. (October 4, 2014) -- The National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE) announces the district winners of the 2014 Annual Award for Urban School Board Excellence; Georgia’s Fulton County Schools and Tennessee’s Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools.

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. At CUBE’s annual conference in Miami , Fulton County Schools and Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools had the opportunity to showcase their work and share their 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.

Fulton County Schools, is the fourth largest school system in Georgia, and its largest charter system. Fulton County Schools serves approximately 96,300 students in 58 elementary schools, 19 middle schools, 17 high schools, and seven charter organizations. Fulton County Schools  fully recognizes the importance of strong leadership, thoughtful governance, and community engagement. With conviction in local school decision-making, Fulton County’s successful theory of action is based on the belief that decisions on how schools allocate their time, resources, and money are best made at the school level.

“The staff at Fulton County Schools has made strategic decisions to achieve their many accomplishments,” said Jeannie (Sis) Henry, Executive Director, Georgia School Boards Association. “Winning the National Urban Education School Board Excellence Award, not only helps validate their accomplishments, but also demonstrates what can be achieved in a large school district when you have a bold leadership team.”

Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools serves a diverse student population of over 83,000, 72 percent of which are economically disadvantaged and approximately 20 percent coming from non-English language backgrounds.  Clearly a success story, the district was in ‘restructuring status’ in 2009, and now, a few years later, the district is in good standing for academic progress, with Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools ranking in the top 27 percent of Tennessee districts.  

“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.”

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

The CUBE annual Award for Urban School Board Excellence is supported by NSBA’s corporate partner, Sodexo. Learn more about CUBE and past winners

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The National School Boards Association (NSBA) is the leading advocate for public education and supports equity and excellence in public education through school board leadership. NSBA represents state school board associations and their more than 90,000 local school board members throughout the U.S. Learn more at: www.nsba.org.

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