Tag Archives: conferences

Dispatches from the CSBA Annual Education Conference

This past week, I attended the California School Boards Association (CSBA) Delegate Assembly and Annual Education Conference here in San Francisco. CSBA is the professional organization for the roughly 5,000 school board members elected to the 950 or so school boards across California. I had meant to post notes in shorter form from the conference, but the long days and intermittent access to an Internet connection meant I am only just getting to write up my notes from sessions now.  So apologies for this long post, which I recommend skimming for the parts that interest you.

This is an interesting time for CSBA, which has been seen as the “middle ground” between the state’s teachers’ unions and the professional associations representing Superintendents and other school administrators. Last summer, CSBA’s executive director resigned amid questions about his use of the organization’s credit card and annual compensation in excess of $600,000 — a scandal that made national headlines. 

Despite this black eye, I have found the district’s membership in CSBA to be valuable. In my first year as a Board member, I attended their New Board Member Institute, an essential training for any new school board member (many districts require their new Board members to attend this Institute, and I believe SFUSD should as well).

This year I attended the following sessions:

  • Urban School Districts luncheon;
  • General Session address by Dr. Pedro Noguera
  • Autism, Learning and Education: Where we are and where we’d like to be
  • ESEA Reauthorization: Looking Ahead with Richard Rothstein (former NY Times Education columnist)
  • Data for Direction (with Christopher Maricle of CSBA)
  • Legislative Network luncheon
  • Second General Session with Ian Jukes
  • Facilitating Data Conversations to Drive Achievement
  • Third General Session: State of the State

Each session was valuable, for different reasons. Below are summaries:

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Notes from the CUBE Issues Seminar

small_chicagoI’ve been in Chicago this weekend attending the Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE)  summer issues seminar.  It’s gorgeously clear and balmy outside (rare for Chicago in June!) but I have stayed indoors to attend all of the various sessions, because they are jam-packed with interesting and useful information.

I heard a presentation from Greg Darnieder, special assistant on college access to U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Mr. Darnieder outlined various initiatives the Obama administration is starting up to improve access to college, and highlighted the urgency of the task. What stuck with me was that high school graduation can no longer be our goal — the future is limited for people who get no further than a high school diploma (and even then, 1.2 million members of the Class of 2008 nationwide did not get even that far). We need to be urging students to “get one more piece of paper” after they graduate, whether that piece of paper is the completion of a certificate program, a two-year degree, or a four-year degree.

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