Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools "break the link"

North Carolina’s Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board knows too well the disparity of education within their state. Determined to rectify this wrong, school district leaders and board members created the district’s first equity report since 2010 entitled “Breaking the Link.”

The report highlights the links between poverty, race, and achievement gaps in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and how influences such as demographics, teacher qualifications, test results, and attendance data factor into it. “Sometimes you’ve got to open a wound for it to heal,” says Charlotte-Mecklenburg Superintendent Clayton Wilcox. “Breaking the Link was our opportunity to open that wound.”

The report’s findings of the 147,000- student district were astonishing. For example, the report found that the way Math 1 was taught and expectations for student outcomes differed and were contingent upon a school’s location. To be proactive in community involvement and promote open dialogue, the board and administration shared the report data in a series of sessions that gathered public participation in helping name the issue.

“We are committed to breaking the link between race, poverty and achievement,” says Wilcox. “We’ll show that commitment in our budget process and in our strategic plan.”

Read more about this extraordinary district that’s a winner of the 2018 CUBE Award for Urban School Board Excellence, in the October 2018 issue of ASBJ at