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Eight Cities

Lynne Graziano
Jason Weeby
Tanya Paperny
Sara Mead

How do you build a continuously improving system of schools? Eight Cities is a new website from Bellwether Education Partners that provides stories from education leaders who have moved more students into better schools.

These eight multimedia stories combine the voices, portraits, and stories of real leaders, along with compelling data visualizations, to surface actionable and practical lessons for leaders, other cities, and the field. The most important lesson for current and future superintendents, members of boards of education, and state education leaders is that systemic change that benefits all students is possible.

Visit Eight Cities to see the lessons and share the journey of school leaders in Oakland, CaliforniaChicago, IllinoisDenver, ColoradoWashington, D.C.Newark, New JerseyNew Orleans, LouisianaNew York City, New York; and Camden, New Jersey.

This website is not a toolkit or playbook for creating or implementing a citywide education strategy — others have created high-quality resources for that purpose. You also won’t find an endorsement for one approach versus another because each local context is different. Each of the eight cities took their own routes based on what was right for their communities. These are not exhaustive histories of each city’s strategy; the stories focus on discrete aspects that are particularly instructive to other education system leaders.

This site was created to show that it’s possible to go beyond incremental academic improvement, even in the largest or most politically charged environments.

This site was created by Bellwether Education Partners with support from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.