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Photo of three elementary girls smilingA search for more meaningful accountability

In the mid-1990s, a small group of superintendents and other key executives from a handful of large high-performing school districts in the western United States met and decided to join forces in their efforts to improve learning for all students. From the inception of the Western States Benchmarking Consortium (WSBC), this central focus on increasing student achievement has been the glue that has bonded member districts.

Consortium district leaders meet periodically to talk about best practices and strategies for improvement; to share learning experiences; and to develop actionable work products, position papers, articles and other materials. Active WSBC membership includes seven school districts committed to continuous improvement and a relentless focus on ensuring all students are college, career and life ready. The consortium has also worked in close partnership with the American Association of School Administrators.

WSBC members

Consortium members have developed common definitions of organizational effectiveness, or “benchmarks,” which articulate the steps toward achieving the highest quality public education. These statements have assisted districts and schools in recognizing and acting on key areas of emphasis to improve learning for all students. The statements also have provided a vehicle for sharing best practices and strategies for improvement.

  • Vancouver Public Schools, as a founding member of the Western States Benchmarking Consortium, finds great value in this unique opportunity to connect with colleagues from some of the finest school districts in the country. The WSBC serves as a professional learning community for district leaders, enabling us to work together on current challenges that are common across our school systems. Using the benchmarking framework as a pathway to educational excellence, we share best practices; gain insights from one another; and apply solutions that benefit our students, families and communities." 

    Dr. Steve Webb, Superintendent