AASA, Howard University Host 3rd Urban Superintendents Academy Inaugural Conference


James Minichello
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Former Ed. Sec. John King, Charlottesville City Schools Supt. Rosa Atkins are among keynote speakers
Alexandria, Va. – Aug. 25, 2017 – Less than two weeks after racial unrest in Charlottesville rocked the nation, AASA, The School Superintendents Association and Howard University are hosting their third Urban Superintendents Academy Inaugural Conference today at the Embassy Suites Hilton Hotel in Alexandria, Va.

John King, CEO of The Education Trust and former U.S. Secretary of Education, and Rosa Atkins, superintendent of Charlottesville City Schools, are among the summit’s keynote speakers. Other keynotes will come from superintendents Mark Bedell (Kansas City Public Schools, Mo.) and Traci Davis (Washoe County School District, Nev.), Crystal T. Laura, author and professor at Chicago State University, and Clint Smith, the author of Counting Descent.

“The main driver behind the creation of the AASA/Howard Urban Superintendents Academy was the issue of equity and the huge disparities in our education system in the way our children are being educated,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “It is critically important to develop thought leaders across the nation that speak for the vast number of children who are not receiving the quality education they are entitled to. That’s why our Academy is an essential factor in moving our nation’s public education agenda forward.”

Launched in 2015, the Urban Superintendents Academy prepares individuals for certification and success in urban and increasingly diverse suburban settings, and bolsters the effectiveness of district leadership in those settings. The AASA/Howard University partnership is also designed to expand the pool of underrepresented superintendent groups.

“Urban school district executive leadership training matters, and in order to change the trajectory of superintendent turnover, superintendents must receive cultural, business and financial training specific to the goals of education reform in urban districts,” said Dawn Williams, interim dean, Howard University School of Education.

“This is one of the premier programs to train urban superintendents because it targets the needs of urban and aspiring superintendents,” said Tamara Sterling, superintendent, Franklin City Public Schools, Franklin, Va. “The AASA/Howard University Urban Superintendents Academy focuses on what we, as district leaders, should be looking at to ensure not only that positive change occurs, but that change is sustainable.”  

Sterling, a 2017 graduate of the Urban Academy’s second cohort, added, “This Academy is important for the lives of children and communities in urban settings to continue to thrive and move forward. As it begins to grow, it will make a national impact on urban education.”

Today’s summit comes a few weeks after the launch of AASA’s I Love Public Education campaign (#LovePublicEducation). The campaign is designed to facilitate deliberate conversations and strong, meaningful actions to strengthen our schools to best support the students they serve.

In addition, the summit comes a week prior to the formal launch of a new section of AASA’s website focusing on equity. This section is comprised of a collection of resources on equity for school system leaders at all levels to help them and their teams succeed.

Educators interested in enrolling in either the AASA/Howard or AASA/USC Academies have until September 1, 2017 to apply. For more information, visit the AASA website. For questions, contact Mort Sherman, AASA associate executive director, at msherman@aasa.org / 703-875-0726 or Bernadine Futrell, AASA director, leadership services, at bfutrell@aasa.org / 703-875-0717.


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 the highest quality public education for all children. For more information, visit www.aasa.org.