The Council of the Great City Schools established five special task forces in 1998 and 1999 to address major issues facing big-city school districts. Created were a School Finance Task Force to explore ways to challenge urban school funding inequities around the nation and an English Language Learners and Bilingual Education Task Force to focus on issues around the education of English language learners.
A Task Force on Achievement Gaps was established to eliminate gaps in the academic achievement of students by race. A Task Force on Leadership and Governance addresses the increasing concern about issues surrounding urban school leadership and management; and a Task Force on Professional Development explores ways to give teachers and administrators the latest tools and techniques to improve student achievement.
Goals of the Achievement Gaps Task Force
- To assist urban public school systems in teaching all students to the highest academic standards and in closing identifiable gaps in the achievement of students by race.
Eric Gordon, Cleveland Superintendent
Eileen Cooper Reed, Cincinnati School Board
Goals of the English Language Learners and Bilingual Education Task Force
- To assist urban public school systems nationally in improving the quality of instruction for English Language Learners and immigrant children.
Nury Martinez, Los Angeles School Board
Valeria Silva, St. Paul Superintendent
Goals of the Leadership, Governance & Management Task Force
- To improve the quality of leadership in urban public education.
- To improve the effectiveness of urban school boards.
- To lengthen the tenure of urban school superintendents.
- To enhance accountability, management and operations of the nation's urban public school systems.
Terry Grier, Houston Superintendent
William Isler, Pittsburgh School Board
Goals of the Professional Development Task Force
- To improve the quality of professional development for teachers and principals in urban public education.
- To alleviate the shortage of certified teachers and principals in urban schools.
- To improve the recruitment and skills of urban school principals.
Carol Comeau, Anchorage Superintendent
Lydia Lee, Minneapolis School Board
Deborah Shanley, Brooklyn College CUNY Dean
Goals of the School Finance Task Force
- To challenge the inequities in state funding of urban public schools.
- To increase federal funding and support of urban public schools.
- To pass new federal school infrastructure legislation to help repair, renovate and build urban public school buildings.
- To enhance the ability of urban schools to use Medicaid for health.
Eugene White, Indianapolis Superintendent
Larry Feldman, Miami-Dade County School Board