An education city is an aspiration. It is the embodiment of an ideal that one day, all children will have access to high-quality public schools. There are no education cities in America today. That’s why we work with our members to increase the number of great public schools in their cities.

Our members serve as education “harbormasters” with deep ties to their communities. Like maritime harbormasters, who facilitate safe and cooperative navigation in a challenging space, education harbormasters build and coordinate the efforts to improve education in their city. Together, our members – nonprofits, foundations, and civic organizations – are improving opportunities for millions of children and their families.

We believe that all students can succeed if given access to great public schools. We believe that schools can succeed if educators are empowered to make key decisions in their classrooms and schools. And we believe that school systems can succeed when schools operate with autonomy while being held accountable for strong student results.

Yet, despite decades of reform, documented best practices, and the efforts of generations of talented educators, superintendents, and central office staff, school systems continue to resist change and often serve children and families poorly.

School systems were designed for a simpler age, when a high-school education could secure a stable future. Today, we ask more of our schools. And while times have changed, most school systems have not. When addressing the challenges of education, simply put: it’s not the people, it’s the system.

We want to change these systems to ensure great public schools for all our children. To do so, we build the capacity of our network members to invest in the growth of great schools, recruit and support talented teachers and principals, engage their communities and advance pro-children policies.

  • Convening – We bring our members together to define shared challenges, explore solutions, and generate new ideas to increase the number of great public schools.
  • Consulting – We advise our members on their efforts to help more families access great schools, and we help non-member organizations apply lessons-learned from our network.
  • Communicating – We write about trends we see across cities, and promote ideas and approaches that lead to better outcomes for children.
  • Working Groups – Education Cities leads working groups to build the expertise of our members, help members overcome specific challenges, and explore new connections and collaborations between cities.
  • Personalized Learning – We help education harbormasters develop and implement strategies to support personalized learning schools, policies and ecosystems in their cities.

If you are a city-based nonprofit or foundation, primarily focused on increasing the number of great public schools in your city, you may be eligible to join the Education Cities network. For more information, please contact Christine Schneider, Senior Director, Communications.