Your Professional Organization
The Association of California School Administrators was established in 1971. ACSA is the largest umbrella organization for school leaders in the nation, serving more than 14,000 school leaders.
The mission of the Association of California School Administrators, the driving force of education in California and beyond, is to ensure the creation of communities of learning and teaching that serve both the aspirations of individual students and the greater good of society, through this unique and indispensable coalition distinguished by:
• bold and authoritative advocacy;
• dedication to the highest personal and professional ethics;
• inspirational networks of discovery and sharing of knowledge;
• mutual commitment to excellence; and
• universal accessibility to learning.
More than two dozen job-alike and issue-oriented councils and committees, a board of directors and a delegate assembly keep ACSA focused on school leadership and on education policy issues at the local, state and federal levels.
ACSA has a significant role in steering the course for improvements and progress in public education and for school administration. Among its many activities, ACSA continues to lead efforts in negotiations on school finance as well as in advocacy efforts to increase program flexibility for schools, districts and counties. Recognizing the state’s financial situation in recent years, ACSA has led efforts with counterparts in the Education Coalition to maximize education funding and to protect the integrity of Proposition 98, as well as to implement and support the transition to the Local Control Funding Formula.
ACSA’s focus on teaching and learning means the association has a lead advocacy role on issues such as curriculum and instruction (including the transition to Common Core State Standards), assessment and accountability, 21st century learning and improving efforts to close the achievement gap. As expectations and accountability requirements for school leaders increase, ACSA continues to be on the forefront on issues at both the state and federal level.
The association continues to be the leading proponent in the state for school leaders and for our profession. ACSA led the cooperative effort to adopt California Professional Standards for Education Leaders, a set of high-quality standards for effective school leadership. Professional learning programs offered by the association - ACSA’s summer residential programs at UCLA, ACSA academies for nearly every administrative position, AB 430 administraor training programs and coaching programs for both new and experienced school and district leaders - are aligned with these standards to ensure quality among the ranks of school administration.
Make the Most of Membership - Get Involved!
You can play an important role in shaping ACSA's policies and programs at the state, region and charter levels.
The State Level
Opportunities for involvement at the state level include serving as an elected officer, a member of the Board of Directors, or a representative to the Delegate Assembly. ACSA members serve on statewide professional committees, task forces and advisory bodies. This cadre of committed volunteers is a vital professional network for ACSA members.
State ACSA’s leaders can be located under ACSA Leadership.
The Region Level
ACSA's 19 regions divide the state geographically and provide valuable opportunities for professional involvement with administrators in nearby school districts. The regional structure allows your voice to be heard on education issues. Each region elects regional officers who also serve as the region's voice at the statewide Delegate Assembly. In addition, regions elect a representative to ACSA's state Board of Directors. ACSA regions offer networking opportunities, professional development workshops and programs tailored to meet local needs. A portion of your dues (14 percent) is rebated to regions for these programs and activities.
You can find more information on individual regions within our Regions section.
The Charter Level
More than 200 charters have been created within regions to address the local interests of members in one or more school districts. The charter structure gives ACSA its grassroots strength. If you are new to a district, the local ACSA charter is an excellent forum in which to meet your colleagues, share experiences and learn about district issues. Charter presidents are listed within our Regions section.
Formation of ACSA
Administrators in California had long talked of forming an umbrella organization that encompassed their varied professional functions. A Constitutional Convention in May 1971 sealed the task. An interim board of directors, representing the consolidating associations, built an amalgamated program and structure that became operative July 1, 1971. As a result, California had the first operative united administrator organization in the nation - the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA).
Associations that joined together to form ACSA included:
- California Association of Adult Education Administrators (CAAEA)
- California Association of County Superintendents and Staffs (CACSS)
- California Association of School Administrators (CASA)
- California Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (CASCD)
- California Association of School Personnel Administrators (CASPA)
- California Association of Secondary School Administrators (CASSA)
- California Elementary School Administrators Association (CESAA)
The combined membership of the original seven organizations was more than 8,000, with many duplicate members. Membership exceeded 9,000 in ACSA's first year of existence, and has achieved phenomenal growth since.
Since ACSA's inception, administrator associations in 39 states have moved toward some form of consolidated or "umbrella" organization. ACSA is the only association in the nation that encompasses the broad spectrum of the management/leadership team.