The Nation's Voice for Urban Education

May 2024 • Vol. 34 No. 4

Council Fall Conference to Feature Political Analyst, Bestselling Author and Space Activist

Chuck Todd, a former moderator of Meet the Press; Isabel Wilkerson, the author of two New York Times bestsellers; and Katya Echazarreta, an activist for space travel, will address the Council of the Great City Schools’ 68th Annual Fall Conference, Oct. 16-20 in Dallas, under the banner “Leading Innovation & Transformation, We Do Urban Education.”

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Council Assembles Team to Assist New Memphis Superintendent

New Memphis-Shelby County Schools Superintendent Marie Feagins has tapped key players from the Council of the Great City Schools to advise her newly formed transition team. 

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New Superintendents Named in Washoe and Oklahoma City; Fresno Names Interim Leader

After embarking on a national search, Washoe County School District in Reno, Nevada, selected Joe Ernst as its next superintendent. Since 2021, he has served as the district’s Chief Continuous Improvement Officer. 


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Six Urban Schools Ranked Among the Nation's Top 20

U.S. News & World Report recently released its 2024 edition of “Best High Schools,” ranking six schools in districts represented by the Council of the Great City Schools in the top 20 of 17,655 public schools evaluated nationwide.

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U.S. Presidential Scholars Named 

Ahryanna McGuirk from Kalaheo High School and Maile-Lei Ji of Kealakehe High School were recently named U.S. Presidential Scholars, marking a historic moment for the Hawaii Department of Education.

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Exchange Program Opens the World for Toledo, German Students

The two students from Ohio’s Toledo Technology Academy of Engineering (TTA) admit they were nervous about what they would have in common with two German exchange students who would be with them for nearly three weeks. 

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Urban Schools Win Green Ribbon Awards

Arlington Elementary School in Lexington, Ky., has a school garden that is used as a living laboratory where students explore seeds, animal habits, and the butterfly life cycle. Teachers at the school also integrate lessons on sustainability throughout the curriculum and in after-school programs. 

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Chicago School Wins Urban Debate National Championship

Students across the country who participate in urban debate leagues spend an entire year debating the same topic and building and refining their arguments in preparation for the 2024 Urban Debate National Championships. 

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Newark Students Share Their Stories of Immigration in New Book

Students in New Jersey’s Newark Public Schools are not just sharing their stories but lending their unique voices to a new book, We Were Strangers, Once Too: An Immigrant Memoir Collection. This collection of student narratives offers a firsthand look at the diverse experiences of immigration and identity.

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Legislative Column

At the end of March, Congress finally finished the last of their appropriations bills for FY 2024, finalizing funding for the upcoming 2024-25 school year almost six months into the federal fiscal year.

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Upcoming Events

Chief Information Officers Meeting


June 4 - June 7, 2024


Hilton Portland Downtown Portland, OR

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Executive Director
Ray Hart

Tonya Harris
Staff Writer
Joanne Coley
Staff Writer
Kalin Hicks

Staff Writer

Alexandra Benjamin

Acting Chair

Marcia Andrews

Board Member, Palm Beach


Marcia Andrews

Board Member, Palm Beach


Sonja Brookins Santelises

CEO, Baltimore

A newsletter published by the Council of the Great City Schools, representing 78 of the nation’s largest urban public school districts. Click here to learn more. All news items should be submitted to Tonya Harris (