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CMS Wins Award For Report Highlighting Racial, Economic Disparities In District

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
CMS officials and Superintendent Clayton Wilcox, second from left, accept the CUBE award.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools board of education has received a national award for work highlighting student achievement gaps based on race and poverty.

The district was recognized by the Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE) and given the 2018 Annual Award for Urban School Board Excellence for its “Breaking the Link” report. The CMS school board was also given $2,500 as part of the award.

Board of Education Chair Mary McCray said board members are “very pleased” that the district’s report was given national recognition.

“We are committed to equity and excellence, and ‘Breaking the Link’ is a critical first step to achieving both,” McCray said in a statement.

“Breaking the Link,” which the district released in February, found that the academic performance of low-income students and students of color was consistently lower than that of their white, affluent peers. The report also found that economically disadvantaged and minority students were concentrated in about a third of the district’s schools.

Superintendent Clayton Wilcox said the report was a good first step in identifying the disparities within the system.

“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,” Wilcox said.

The report resulted in a plan to focus on a quality education for all students within the system by creating an “Equity Office” staffed by a Chief Equity Officer and three associate superintendents.

The district was one of three to receive the award at an annual conference in Las Vegas. The other recipients included districts in Fort Worth, Texas, and Jennings, Missouri.