AASA to Host 6th Urban Superintendents Academy Conference


James Minichello
703-774-6953 (cell)

Gathering involves Howard University, USC; Follows Launch of AASA Equity Cohort 

Alexandria, Va. – Aug. 20, 2020 – With an ongoing and absolute commitment to increase the number of effective school district leaders in our nation’s rapidly growing urban areas, AASA, The School Superintendents Association, in partnership with Howard University and the USC Rossier School of Education, is hosting its sixth annual Urban Superintendents Academy (virtual) Conference, Friday, Aug. 21, 2020.

Today’s announcement comes a week after the launch of the AASA Equity Cohort, a new consortium comprised of school leadership teams that are committed to addressing the greatest social justice and civil rights issue in the U.S. — educational inequity.

The Urban Superintendents Academy prepares educators for certification and success in urban and increasingly diverse suburban settings, and bolsters the effectiveness of district leadership in those settings. The program offers opportunities for educational leaders to become involved in a network of support, mentoring and professional development related to the challenges facing the 21st-century urban leader.   

“When we created this program with our partners at Howard University and USC, we thought about the need for outstanding urban leaders—those who will step up, take action and become advocates for the children whose families are largely living in poverty and not receiving the opportunities they deserve,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “For six years, the Urban Superintendents Academy has provided sitting and aspiring superintendents with a thorough and visionary program designed to develop and support effective urban leadership for the benefit of the students and their families in these communities.”

Specific goals applicable to the program include:

  • Prepare for and successfully acquire a position as an urban superintendent.
  • Delineate and apply key skills of 21st-century leadership.
  • Address critical problems and issues facing all urban superintendents today in a strategic and creative way.
  • Deal effectively and creatively with community relations and politics in the urban setting. 

“As the birthplace of Brown vs. Board of Education, Howard University is rooted in social justice,” said Dawn Williams, dean, Howard University School of Education. “We are proud to partner with AASA in an initiative that continues to transform our urban school settings. The Urban Superintendents Academy is the ideal solution for honoring and building the equity-driven leadership skills that we need to create the changes necessary to have a positive impact on communities across the country.”

“Throughout my career as a superintendent, I’ve understood the importance of having diverse leadership for students of all backgrounds,” said Maria Ott, professor of clinical education, USC Rossier School of Education. “It’s been a personal commitment throughout my career to support those who have the passion in their hearts, the willingness to develop the skills to be successful, and the drive to take on the complex and challenging role of leading urban school districts. We need leaders who have an unwavering focus on equity and social justice who are unafraid to do what is needed for the success of all students.”

The program brings the most effective and inspiring thought leader practitioners to serve as instructors, mentors and presenters. The Howard University and USC cohorts will engage in virtual site visits and develop capstone projects, action plans, resources and other publications that will be shared with AASA members and other administrators. Click here to view Friday’s agenda.

For more information about the AASA Urban Superintendents Academy, visit the AASA website. For questions, contact Mort Sherman, AASA associate executive director, Leadership Network, at msherman@aasa.org.


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.