AASA Launches Equity Cohort

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
James Minichello
703-875-0723
703-774-6953 (cell)
jminichello@aasa.org

Consortium to serve as national leader to change the trajectory of our children’s future

Alexandria, Va. – Aug. 13, 2020 – As students, families and school systems nationwide are embarking on a new academic year in the unprecedented COVID-19 environment, AASA, The School Superintendents Association, is launching a new consortium comprised of school system leaders committed to address the greatest social justice and civil rights issue in the U.S. today—educational inequity.

The AASA Equity Cohort will focus on inspiring and enhancing the capacity of district teams to foster school environments and promote cultural responsiveness, inclusion and equity for all learners.

“I was born in Cuba and at nine years of age, my family moved to New York City. At the age of 15, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in public education and help other kids like me. Since then, no matter what job I’ve had, the issue of equity has always been near and dear to my heart,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “It’s up to us, not to say we’re going to create these opportunities for our children but actually create them—to show action. Otherwise, our colleagues will say, ‘if you’re not the ones pushing the agenda, how can you expect us to?’ I applaud the AASA members and staff who are part of this growing cohort.”

District teams will engage in a series of activities designed to enhance individual and collective abilities to self-reflect, engage in productive conflict, and change instructional practices, behaviors and district policies. In addition, these teams will explore ways to foster cultivate positive and productive classroom, school and district culture.

“To achieve equity, we must reduce the predictability of who succeeds and who fails in our schools,” said Luvelle Brown, superintendent, Ithaca (N.Y.) City School District. “We must cultivate the unique gifts of every young person and we will truly transform this country. Shame on us if we don’t use this opportunity to address the inequities that have plagued our schools for generations. The AASA Equity Cohort will leverage that opportunity and help students achieve success.”

The cohort will engage a minimum of 30 district teams, and include at least the superintendent, a cabinet-level administrator and a principal from each team. The cohort will engage in a 12-month program beginning in August 2020 as part of the 6th Annual Urban Superintendents Conference.

“We want our students to know they can fully participate in our democracy as valued members of our pluralistic society,” said Sharon Contreras, superintendent, Guilford County (N.C.) Schools. “We want them to embrace and act on the knowledge that their voices actually matter. Without equity, we can’t ensure that our students’ public school experiences provide access to the knowledge, skills and resources that will enable them to care for themselves and their children, and their children’s children. We will only break the current cycle of institutional racism, generational poverty and despair if our public schools become bastions for equity and the driving forces for social justice.”

For additional information about the Equity Cohort, visit the AASA website. Superintendents and other educators can also contact Mort Sherman, AASA associate executive director, Leadership Network, at msherman@aasa.org, or Debbie Magee, program director, at dmagee@aasa.org.

To join the conversation via social media, access #supts4equity on Twitter.

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About AASA
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to equitable access for all students to the highest quality public education. For more information, visit www.aasa.org.