CAAASA mission includes upward mobility

Sept. 13, 2017

“Breaking the Glass Ceiling” was the title of the most recent African American Leadership Academy from the California Association of African American Superintendents and Administrators, continuing its mission to create a more diversified school workforce.

In the last CAAASA newsletter, President Ramona Bishop reiterated a focus on “building the capacity of our superintendents and administrators, proudly acknowledging their daily and ‘special project’ contributions to our shared mission, along the way.”

Over the last 20 years, the number of African American superintendents has more than doubled, but according to a report from EdSource, the numbers are still a long way from representing the student population.

According to CAAASA, there are 27 African American superintendents leading districts and county offices in California. EdSource points out that’s 2.6 percent of the total number of superintendents, while African American students makeup 6 percent of the student population.

The same report points out that, while there are nearly three times more Latino superintendents with 73, or 7.7 percent, of that demographic, Latino students represent 53 percent of total enrollment. Access the report at

With equity issues needing resolution in our schools, more and more attention is being paid to matching the education workforce with the student population. Organizations like CAAASA and the California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators have built upward mobility for their members into their missions. ACSA supports these goals with its own overarching vision to “serve educational leaders in the pursuit of equity and excellence to meet the diverse needs of all California students.”

The African American Leadership Academy brings CAAASA leaders together with successful superintendents, as well as job search and educational law firms, including Fagen, Friedman & Fulfrost, and Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo, to share strategies for increasing leadership positions for people of color. Practical information aims to help participants with achieving desired promotions and being ready for their next education leadership career opportunity.

The CAAASA African American Leadership Academy attracts respected superintendents, as well as those aspiring to leadership positions, including (left to right) Michele Bowers, superintendent of Lancaster SD; Michael Watkins, Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools; Janée Camp, substitute teacher in Sylvan USD; and her husband, Daryl Camp, superintendent of Riverbank USD.

CAAASA holds such events several times a year. Visit to stay abreast of scheduling. Next up is the Sept. 30 CAAASA Annual Round-up of California educational organizations in Burbank.

The CAAASA mission statement notes the association is “committed to identifying and addressing the critical issues in education through public policy relative to the status and performance of African-American students in California.”

“CAAASA has worked in partnership with the ACSA by sponsoring events and programs that support increased student achievement and that proved to be successful in addressing the needs of African-American students. Under CAAASA’s leadership, the organization is working closely with new and proposed initiatives that impact the academic achievement of African American students including a most successful and recently sponsored statewide conference in Sacramento, “Education is a Civil Right.”

More information can be accessed at

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