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11/21/2014

Leaders for Tomorrow Program Earns National Recognition for Positive Student Impact

Quick Facts

 The council was impressed by the Leaders For Tomorrow program, which strives to improve the preparation of school leaders with a focus on raising student achievement.
 Since its inception, Leaders For Tomorrow has produced 86 successful principals, assistant principals, deans of students and district administrators for CMS.

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Dean Jennie Rakestraw
ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA — A special partnership between the Winthrop University Richard W. Riley College of Education and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) has garnered national recognition for its positive impact on students.

The Council of the Great City Colleges of Education, an affiliate of the Council of Great City Schools headquartered in Washington, D.C., recently awarded Winthrop and CMS with the prestigious 2014 Dr. Shirley S. Schwartz Urban Education Impact Award. The award recognizes an outstanding partnership between a university and urban school district that has positively and significantly impacted student learning.

“The Shirley S. Schwartz Urban Education Impact Award is unique in that it is based primarily on the effect our educational leadership graduates have on student learning in their schools,” said Jennie Rakestraw, dean of the College of Education. “This is a primary focus for our educational leadership program.”

Educational Leadership Program Director Mark Mitchell and Mary Martin, an associate professor and former CMS school principal, developed an approach to preparing school leaders based on university-school collaboration and multiple school-based experiences where theory and research is applied to authentic work situations. The program received a $3.75 million, 5-year U.S. Department of Education School Leadership grant in 2010. In 2013, the program was invited to participate in two national initiatives: the Alliance to Reform Education Leadership, sponsored by the George W. Bush Institute, and the KIPP Leadership Design Fellowship.

“We are extremely proud of the work our educational leadership faculty are doing to promote strong school leadership in both the urban CMS school district and our many other partnering school districts in South Carolina,” Rakestraw said.

The council was impressed by the Leaders For Tomorrow program, which strives to improve the preparation of school leaders with a focus on raising student achievement. The program, established six years ago, was designed to specifically address the needs of CMS. Since its inception, Leaders For Tomorrow has produced 86 successful principals, assistant principals, deans of students and district administrators for CMS.

Martin accepted the award on behalf of Winthrop at the council’s conference last month.

The council is an organization of the United States’ largest public school systems, promoting K-12 education in inner-city schools, pushing for the highest academic standards and preparing students to contribute to the global community.

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