Curriculum Associates Sponsors the Council of the Great City Schools’ Inaugural Dr. Michael Casserly Legacy Award for Educational Courage & Justice

Curriculum Associates partnered with the Council of the Great City Schools (CGCS) to sponsor the first-ever Dr. Michael Casserly Legacy Award for Educational Courage and Justice. As part of the award, CGCS Executive Director Casserly will select an educator from one of the CGCS’s 77-member school districts who is pursuing a graduate-level degree in education to receive a $10,000 scholarship.

“The leading voice nationally in urban education, built over his 44 years of service to the Council of the Great City Schools, Dr. Casserly has made such a positive impact on students and educators,” said Woody Paik, executive vice president of Curriculum Associates. “In partnership with the CGCS, we are proud to help recognize the remarkable accomplishments of Dr. Casserly, as well as support a rising standout educator who—like Dr. Casserly—is passionate about urban education and is looking to take the next step in his or her career.”

Casserly was named executive director of the CGCS in January 1992 after serving as the Council’s director of legislation and research for 15 years. According to the CGCS, he is now believed to be the longest-serving chief among the major national education membership organizations; was the only head of a national education organization to support the 2002 No Child Left Behind legislation because of its emphasis on closing achievement gaps for specific at-risk student groups; and helped the CGCS play a major role in initiating what is now the Common Core State Standards. In June 2021, Casserly will step aside from this role and become a strategic advisor to CGCS through 2024.

“For more than 40 years, Michael Casserly has diligently worked to improve public education for the nation’s urban school children,” said Michael O’Neill, Chair of the Board of CGCS. “His contributions have led to some of the most significant legislative actions and best practices in urban public schools, and he has earned a well-deserved national and international reputation as a thoughtful, committed, data-driven and bipartisan leader.”

Former US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan presented the Dr. Michael Casserly Legacy Award for Educational Courage and Justice to Casserly during a virtual award ceremony at the CGCS’s Legislative/Policy Conference.

The Dr. Michael Casserly Legacy Award for Educational Courage and Justice will be presented annually to a person who has made outstanding contributions in the field of K–12 urban education by taking a courageous and passionate stance on the issue of educational justice and equity. The annual awardee will then select the $10,000 scholarship recipient.

“I am honored and deeply touched that this award has been named in my honor, and I want to thank Curriculum Associates for their generosity,” said Casserly. “I have devoted my 44-year career at the Council to improving education for children in the nation’s cities and fighting for equity and the critical resources our urban schools need to help the students they serve meet the highest academic standards and become successful and productive members of society. So, it is wonderful that a $10,0000 scholarship will go to someone who is following in my footsteps. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

The CGCS is the only national organization exclusively representing the needs of urban public schools. Composed of 77 large-city school districts, its mission is to promote the cause of urban schools and to advocate for inner-city students through legislation, research, and media relations. The organization also provides a network for school districts sharing common problems to exchange information and collectively address new challenges as they emerge in order to deliver the best possible education for urban youth.

To learn more about the CGCS and the Dr. Michael Casserly Legacy Award for Educational Courage and Justice, visit To learn more about Curriculum Associates, visit

The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.

Current issue of Equity & Access:

Equity & Access - Issue 28

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