CAAASA summit offers insight into educational justice

The California Association of African American Superintendents and Administrators 2018 Statewide Professional Development Summit, March 14-16 in Sacramento, will focus on “Educational Justice, Every Student Succeeds: Strategies, Solutions, Resources.”

The annual Summit is designed for school administrators, school board members, teachers, parents and others, addressing the needs of African American, Latino and other underserved students. Strands include Unconscious Bias, Restorative Justice, Early Childhood Development, STEM and STEAM, Equity Leadership and College and Career Readiness.

Plenary sessions include the following:

  • The Impact of Trauma and Poverty on Learning and Academic Achievement for African American and other Students of Color. Scheduled presenters include Flojaune Cofer, director of state policy and research at Public Health Advocates; Gordon Jackson, director of the Coordinate Student Support Division at the California Department of Education; Camille Maben, executive director of First 5 California; William Jamal Miller, deputy director for the Office of Health Equity at the state Department of Public Health; and Eric Cooper, president of the National Urban Alliance.
  • School Safety: State of California perspective on the safety of California’s schools, addressing violence on school campus, schools as safe havens, particularly for undocumented and DACA students, active shooter situations, terrorism and other threats. Invited panelists include Attorney General Xavier Becerra; Compton USD Superintendent Darin Brawley; Chula Vista ESD Superintendent Francisco Escobedo; and Oakland USD Superintendent Kyla Johnson Trammell.
  • Educational Justice Institute, with presenters Linda Darling-Hammond, professor and educational researcher; Travis Jackson Bristol, School of Education at Boston University; Tia Madkins, assistant professor at the University of Texas, Austin; and Michael Dumas, researcher at UC Berkeley.
  • Professional Athletes for Social Justice, with Greg Bell of the National Football League (ret.), and others.
  • Understanding the Implications of the new California School Dashboard: Using the Dashboard as a strategic tool to positively impact student learning. Scheduled presenters include SPI Tom Torlakson; Carl Cohn, executive director of the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence; Alameda County Superintendent L. Karen Monroe; and Santa Cruz County Superintendent Michael Watkins.
  • Every Student Succeeds Act, Educational Justice for Boys and Men of Color, and Girls and Women of Color, featuring Congressman Bobby Scott; Congresswoman Karen Bass; Monique Morris, president and founder of the National Black Women’s Justice Institute; Robert Ross, president of the California Endowment; and George McKenna, District 1 Board member, LAUSD.

Special sessions include Thursday offerings on disproportionality in special education, chronic absenteeism, and recruiting, retaining and supporting African American male teachers. Plus two on Friday, the first on the CCEE’s Professional Learning Network and the other titled “Student Aid Commission: Sounding the Alarm – Billions in College Resources Left on the Table.”

A Conversation with California Legislators is also scheduled, featuring Assembly representatives Shirley Weber, Kevin McCarty, Holly Mitchell and Tony Thurmond.

In addition, two town hall sessions are scheduled on Wednesday, one on boys and men of color and one on girls and women of color.

In an invitation to the summit, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson encourages participation by superintendents, school board members, site administrators, district personnel, higher education representatives, community leaders, parents and students.

“California must continue to plan for the future, and these plans must include assurance that all our students are provided with equitable opportunities to excel,” Torlakson said. “This is challenging, but rewarding work, and we will surely need to develop additional strategies to commit to working even more collaboratively.”

ACSA is a co-sponsor of the 2018 Statewide Professional Development Summit, along with the California Department of Education, California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators, California State Parent Teachers Association, California Head Start, California County Superintendents Educational Services Association, California School Boards Association, California Educational Technology Professionals Association, Center for Leadership Equity and Research, California Teachers Association and First 5 California.

Find out more about the summit, as well as pre-conference sessions, and register at

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