When this organization started out ten years ago, its largest gathering was approximately 50 persons, most of whom were public school administrators, and superintendents. However, over the decade participants now number close to 500, and is represented by various school stakeholders, including…..teachers, classified staff, students, parents, community members, state superintendent, local & federal legislators, professors, specialists, sponsors, and more.
The CAAASA Conference is one of the most active groups in the state, bringing together various education stakeholders to focus on improving academic outcomes for students of color. The four-day event held at the beautiful Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel, is within walking distance from the State Capital. And while every trip to Sacramento brings state legislators to the conference, it also allows for individuals to visit their respective legislators, or their staff to discuss educational issues, a powerful piece in advocating for educational equity.
Part of day 1 included a pre-conference which featured a Youth Leadership Summit, and College Fair, where students would engage in workshops, listen to motivational speakers, and participate in a technology showcase. Local students were bused in from various school districts.
Also, on day 1 was the Parent Empowerment Conference, coordinated by the Roberts Family Development Center, where parents engaged in workshops that focused on the local control funding formula (LCFF) and innovative district-wide programs and systems that address the needs of African American students and their families.
Days 2 - 4 included workshops, panels, a job fair for site and district administrators, teachers, and upper level positions, officer installations, receptions, and yes even a little evening entertainment that allowed attendees an opportunity to un-wind, relax and enjoy some nice music and dancing.
This article can’t list all who made the CAAASA 2018 Conference a success, but here is a partial listing of Co-Sponsors, and other supporters:
California Department of Education (CDE), Association of California School Administrators (ACSA), California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators (CALSA), California State Parent Teacher Association (CAPTA), California Head Start Association (CHSA), California County Superintendents Educational Service for Leadership, Equity, and Research (CLEAR), California Teachers Association (CTA), First 5 California, California School Boards Association (CSBA), California Educational Technology Professionals Association (CETPA), myON, Federal Reserve Bank Of San Francisco, Odysseyware, McGraw Hill Education, DCG STRATEGIES, The EDUCATIONAL NETWORK, School Innovations & Achievement (SI&A), LEARN4LIFE, Atkinson, Anderson, Loya, Rudd & Romo (aa/rr), Curriculum Associates, imageSource, Lifetouch, Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost LLP, DISCOVERY EDUCATION, HORIZON EDUCATION, GRAND CANYON UNIVERSITY, GENERATION READY, Roberts Family Development Center, shmoop, EdReports, Wowzers, footsteps 2 brillance, booksource, Imagine Learning, K12 Insight, CollegeBoard, LegalShield, partners IN SCHOOL INNOVATION, and others.
The workshops, panels, and guest speakers provided a wealth of knowledge to those in attendance. And using that knowledge practitioners can go back to their schools/districts, and communities armed with resources to improve educational outcomes for African American students, and other students of color.
Also, new legislation was introduced at the conference. Two CAAASA founders, Dr. Rex Fortune, and Dr. Charlie Mae Knight, shared CA Assembly Bill 2635 (introduced by Assembly Members, Weber, Gipson, and Burke) deals with Education Finance, and the Local Control Funding Formula. Essentially, the bill is asking the Ed. Code to amend Sections 2574 and 42238.02 of the Ed. Code to include pupils who are the lowest performers in the State’s Annual Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) and, would require the Superintendent of Public Instruction to annually identify pupils, and their sub-groups.
Special thanks go out to CAAASA’s Executive Board, Dwight Bonds (Executive Director), Dr. Ramona Bishop (President), Michael Watkins (President-Elect), Dr. Tanya Fisher (Secretary), Dr. Mark Marshall (Treasurer), State Planning Committee, Conference Support Staff, and all conference participants. A job well done!
View photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/99891034@N04/albums/72157694364041374
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