What is the Consortium?
The Large Countywide and Suburban District Consortium is an invitational network of large, diverse, innovative, and leading suburban and countywide school districts dedicated to dramatically improving public education through collaboration, leadership, and advocacy.
The Consortium envisions a public education system that ensures every student—regardless of background—realizes his or her full potential.
For the most recent overview of the Consortium, Click Here.
What makes the Consortium districts unique?
Success. Consortium districts each have a track record of success in supporting all students in the attainment of 21st Century outcomes including success in closing achievement gaps and sustaining improvement in struggling schools.
- Two Consortium members have been awarded the prestigious Broad Prize for Urban Education – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (2011) and Gwinnett County Public Schools (2010 & 2014).
- Gwinnett was honored in 2017 as the College Board's AP District of the Year for increasing both participation and performance.
- Montgomery County public schools is one of only 11 education systemss to ever receive the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award (2010) for performance excellence.
- Three of the top twenty US News & World Report Best High Schools for 2019 are located in Consortium districts (in Gwinnett, Fairfax and Bellevue). In total, fifteen Consortium high schools are among the top 200 high schools in the nation.
- Baltimore County Public Schools was recognized as having the fourth highest graduation rate for African-American males among the nation's largest school districts in 2012.
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Leadership. Consortium districts each have a superintendent who has demonstrated leadership in closing achievement gaps and improving schools overall. These superintendents have been and will work together to be strong voices for sound policies and programs that strengthen public education.
- Consortium members Burke Royster (Greenville County) and Aaron Spence (Virginia Beach) were the 2018 South Carolina and Virginia Superintendents of the Year.
- Multiple members have received Superintendent of the Year awards at the state and national levels, including Don Grotting (Oregon, 2014), Jack Smith (Maryland, 2013), and Alvin Wilbanks (Georgia, 2005).
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Diversity. Consortium districts each have significant and growing student diversity including diversity in race, ethnicity, national origin and socio-economic status.
- Fifteen of the 18 Consortium districts have no student racial group making up more than 50% of the student population. On average, 56% of the students served by Consortium districts are non-white.
- For 11% of Consortium member students, English is a second language.
- More than 40% of students in Consortium districts qualify as low-income/free and reduced lunch eligible.
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Size and Scale. Consortium districts collectively serve more than 1.8 million students and their families. Many are among the largest in the country; others are large when compared to districts in their state or region. Their size allows them to build capacity and to establish proof points for scalable practices.
- The Consortium districts collectively span 11 states.
- The average Consortium district enrolls nearly 95,000 students. The largest member serves close to 200,000 children, while the smallest has an enrollment of about 20,000.
- Consortium districts collectively enroll nearly 35% more students today than they did in 1995. In some member districts, like Gwinnett County, Georgia, student enrollment has more than doubled during this time frame.
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Locale. Consortium districts are generally located in suburban areas. Many serve the entire county in which they are located. However, most include urban, suburban, and rural areas.
In what ways do the members of the Consortium work together
to achieve our mission?
Establishing a Community of Practice
Collaboration among Consortium members is designed to improve policy and practice, particularly with regard to some of the major reforms being undertaken today, and to identify the linchpins of success so that they can be studied, summarized and shared to inform the work of other district leaders and policymakers at all levels.
Drawing from Effective Practice to Inform Federal and State Policy
Consortium members have successes to share and perspectives on the importance and potential of public education, yet historically they have not had a forum through which to make their best practices known and their voices heard. Together, the members of this group focus on issues unique to the Consortium and in doing so seek to devise and carry out strategies for sharing the lessons (practice-to-policy exemplars) they have learned that can inform the development of federal policy and national reform efforts.
Promoting Success at Scale through Best Practice, Innovation, and Leadership
The Consortium's practice-to-policy exemplars and other innovative efforts also serve as the basis for the development of tools and resources for each other, for other districts, and for national organizations that are supporting next-generation learning models.
Member districts have self-funded the Consortium since its inception in 2012, believing strongly in the value of cross-district collaboration and the collective vision of the organization. The Consortium is managed by EducationCounsel and operates in affiliation with AASA, The School Superintendents Association (AASA). The Consortium is governed by a Board that consists of three elected officers, each of whom serves on the Board for a total of four years, along with AASA's Executive Director.
Our current board members include: