On Saturday, September 28th the California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators (CAAASA) and the Los Angeles County Alliance of Black School Educators(LACABSE) held its Annual Round-up of California Educational Organizations in Granada Hills, CA. and attracted many education stakeholders (i.e., superintendents, administrators, teachers, para-professionals, parents, students, counselors, elected officials, clergy, business, etc.) from around the State, and Country.
The purpose of the Round-up is to adopt initiatives to improve educational inequities for black students and other students of color, to network, and to pay tribute to African-American Leaders. The day started with an introduction of the various organizations present; with brief opening statements from representatives of the various groups. Then the groups were assigned to work in sub-committees where they would develop and recommend initiatives that address the inequities for students and families.
The sub-committees were:
1. Brown v. Board and Mendez v. Westminster court cases involving equity and access for African-American & Latino Students
2. Address the digital divide
3. The implementation of the Common Core State Standards and its anticipated impact on students of color
4. Language acquisition and resources for Standard English Learners (SEL’s)
5. Understanding the Affordable Care Act
6. How to improve Parental Engagement
7. Implementing research-based curriculum(s) for Boys and Men of Color
8. Increasing awareness of Black College Tours
9. Understanding the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).
After the committees met via discussion they were asked to have their committee chairpersons to briefly report out. CAAASA will compile all the reports and develop a “position paper” to share with the public.
One of the highlights of the day was having actor, director and producer Robert Townsend address the well-attended event. He spoke of how his 5th grade teacher was instrumental in helping him believe he could be a successful student, and took a personal interest in him. He now uses his ability to make films that help educate our youth in positive ways through media. He also received a Social Justice Award from the organizers.
The day ended with the presentation of awards to recognize sponsors, civic leaders (LA County D.A.Jackie Lacey, Urban League President, Nolan Rollins, Compton Major Aja Brown, Fontana Mayor Acquanetta Warren), superintendents (Dr. Ramona Bishop, Vallejo -Dr. Debbra Lindo, Emery - Dr. Donald Evans, Berkeley - Beverly Hempstead, Cypress - Stan Dobbs, Hayward–Will Ector, Berryessa), parent engagement advocates, Mary Ransom, Thomas Samson, President, Vice President; respectively of the Lynwood USD African-American Advisory Parent Council. And a special thank you goes out to Dwight Bonds, Executive Director, CAAASA, Michael Dennis, Board Director, CAAASA, Derotha (Dee) Williams, President, L.A. County Alliance of Black School Educators (LACABSE), Dr. Chris Hickey Sr. photographer, and to all others who helped make this event a success. Great job! See www.caaasa.org