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CAAASA 2014 CA. State-wide Education Conference

Cover of CAAASA 2014 Program
Cover of CAAASA 2014 Program
CAAASA Planning Committee

The California Association of African American Superintendents & Administrators (CAAASA) just completed their three-day annual conference, held in Sacramento. The heavily attended event included some of the biggest names in public education from around the state, and even across the country. Themed as a CA. Professional Development Summit, the event commemorated the 60th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, and the 67th Anniversary of Mendez v. Westminister. California education organizations came together to address Education, Equity, and Excellence for African American, Latino and Other Underserved Students.

Family members, Cheryl Brown and Silvia Mendez of both landmark lawsuits were among the panelists on day 1 to discuss equity in education. Others on the panel included Civil Rights Lawyer, Eva Patterson, Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) President and General Counsel, Tom Saenz, President Elect of CAAASA, Dr. Judy White, Executive Director of California Association of Latino Superintendents & Administrators (CALSA) Dr. David Gomez, and retired Judge Gary E. Ransom. The moderator for this panel session was General Counsel, Deputy Chief of Staff for Speaker John Perez, Fredericka McGee, and the keynote speaker was President and CEO of The California Endowment, Dr. Robert K. Ross, M.D.

The day also included workshops and discussions regarding Common Core and Local Control Funding Formula/Local Control Accountability Plan (LCFF/LCAP), and keynote speakers were CA. State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson, President CA. State Board of Ed., Dr. Michael Kirst, Superintendent, Santa Cruz Office of Education, Michael Watkins, and Director of Association of CA. School Administrators (ACSA), Wes Smith. This session was moderated by President of CAAASA, Dr. Pamela Short-Powell. This was followed by a Special Legislative Town Hall Hearing at the State Capital conducted by Assembly member Dr. Shirley Weber.

Day 2 included a youth summit where conference attendees were entertained and highlighted why public education should ramp up its support for the arts in education. Workshops and panelist sessions topped the day, and Closing Day 3 focused on the impact of Parental Engagement on Student Achievement. One panelist (Dr. George McKenna) on the closing day said that equity sometimes is not the same as adequacy (sufficient) to help underserved youth.

Unfortunately this writer cannot report more detailed accounts of this conference in this article – but you can read more at:

And congratulations to the planning committee, sponsors, and everyone for a great event.

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