California superintendents to discuss student achievement
Superintendents from across the state will meet at USC on March 23 to learn about new research on practices that improve Latino student achievement and how to apply those findings into their classrooms, schools and districts.
English learners continue to lag behind peers in school achievement, and recent census data indicate more than half of the children in California under the age of 18 are Latinos. While experts agree that an effective education for Latino students is more critical now than ever, much of the research conducted in this area has not yet effectively been integrated in schools.
The California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators (CALSA), with support from the USC Rossier School of Education, will bring together the state’s most prominent education researchers and K-12 leaders for the association’s fourth Research to Practice Conclave.
Throughout the day, leading education researchers will describe proven practices and research findings about how schools can increase achievement by Latinos. Following each session, district leaders will discuss practical ways they can integrate these practices into their schools.
Tom Torlakson, California State Superintendent of Public Instruction, will provide welcoming comments. Superintendents John Deasy and Carlos Garcia, who lead unified school districts in Los Angeles and San Francisco, respectively, will be keynote speakers. USC Rossier dean Karen Symms Gallagher will give the welcoming address.
Among other K-12 leaders participating in the CALSA conclave:
• Santa Ana Unified School District Superintendent Thelma Melendez de Santa Ana PhD ’95, former assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education at the U.S. Department of Education
• Ventura Unified School District Superintendent Trudy Arriaga EdD ’93
• Anaheim City School District Superintendent Jose Banda
• Moorpark Unified School District Superintendent Teresa Williams
• San Francisco Unified School District Deputy Superintendent Richard Carranza
• New Berlin School District Deputy Superintendent John Garza.
A number of USC Rossier professors who have led large urban school districts around the country also will participate in the conclave.
Darline Robles PhD ’94 is former superintendent of the Los Angeles Country Office of Education, Rudy Castruita EdD ’83 is former superintendent of San Diego County, Pedro Garcia EdD ’83 is former superintendent of Metro Nashville Public Schools, and Michael Escalante EdD ‘02 is former superintendent of the Glendale Unified School District.
Robert Rueda, the Stephen Crocker Professor in Education at USC Rossier and chair of the committee that selected research for the conclave, said the school’s co-sponsorship of the event is an example of its focus on research that makes a difference.
“This conclave signals a focused attempt to connect researchers and practitioners and overcome the unfortunate history of divisions and disconnection between these two areas in spite of having common goals,” Rueda said. “It also signals the progress, compared to earlier times, that has been made in having a Latino presence in the arenas of practice and research.”
Other USC Rossier faculty members who will present research include Paula Carbone, who will talk about practices for accelerating academic writing, and Gisele Ragusa, who will discuss culturally responsive professional development for teachers of English learners.