Baltimore City is the winner of the 2010 Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE) Annual Award for Urban School Board Excellence.
The award was presented to the district this past weekend at the CUBE organization's annual conference at the Baltimore Renaissance Harborplace Hotel where national leaders in urban education gathered to addressed the challenges facing urban school districts. CUBE member districts total more than 110 urban school districts in 35 states and the Virgin Islands. The award is presented annually to a school district by the National School Board Association.
"Baltimore City Public Schools is a shining example that school reform can work in large, diverse urban school systems," said National School Boards Association's (NSBA) Executive Director Anne. L. Bryant. "Many critics said the district's problems were permanent and unfixable. But school board members and educators in Baltimore refused to accept that grim prognosis and thanks to their vision and hard work, Baltimore City Public Schools are now thriving."
The award comes as the district is celebrating several groundbreaking reforms that is putting Baltimore on the national stage.
One of the trademarks of the city school board has been allowing city schools CEO Andres Alonso to use his autonomy to lead the district in the right direction, said Neil Duke, president of the city school board. "This recognition will serve to reaffirm our resolve as a Board to transform our entire school system into a model of excellence in urban education."
Alonso said that the school board has been an integral part the successes during his tenure.
"From day one as CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools, I have felt very fortunate to serve this board," Alonso said. "It is a board that is first and foremost focused on our kids, and that supports every effort to give schools the resources they need to do right by our kids.
Thanks to this board's leadership, we have been able to build the necessary infrastructure to truly transform our schools, and we are now seeing the results: Our students have posted three straight years of record achievement gains, and the larger Baltimore community is rallying around our students and our schools like never before."