Boston Public Schools (BPS) Superintendent Carol Johnson has received the nation’s highest honor for urban education leadership. Johnson received the 2012 Richard R. Green Award at the Council of the Great City Schools’ 56th Annual Fall Conference in Indianapolis on Thursday, Oct. 18.
She had gone up against 10 big-city school superintendents nationwide for the leadership honor, which is given in alternating years to an outstanding school committee member or a superintendent from 67 of the largest urban school systems in the country. The Green Award is named in honor of the first African-American chancellor of the New York City school system. .
Johnson is in her sixth year as BPS superintendent. She and the Boston School Committee have established an Acceleration Agenda in an effort to close achievement gaps among Boston students. Among her efforts: expanded arts and athletic programming; a doubling of summer academic learning opportunities; a new approach to educating English Language Learners; increased inclusive settings for students with disabilities; school turnaround strategies for lower-performing schools; and an expansion of high-quality schools, BPS school officials say.
Under her tenure, the BPS graduation rate has risen to its highest level since records have been kept and the drop-out rate is at one of the lowest levels in the last 20 years, BPS school officials say.
“Congratulations to Carol Johnson in receiving the Richard Green Award,” Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino said in a statement. “Superintendent Johnson is one of the most dedicated educational professionals in this country and this award speaks volumes to her knowledge and expertise in transforming the education systems not only here in Boston but across our nation. This distinguished award solidifies the great respect her colleagues have for her and her tireless work in changing the face of public school policies to benefit the learning opportunities for all of our children. I am proud she has been willing to stay in Boston and continue our great work in accelerating our progress.”
Another perk for this award: As the recipient, BPS receives a $10,000 college scholarship to present to a high school senior.
– Deirdre Wilson, Senior Editor