A Culturally Proficient Society Begins in School: Leadership for Equity

A Culturally Proficient Society Begins in School: Leadership for Equity

By: Darline P. Robles (author), Maria G. Ott (author), Carmella S. Franco (author), Dr. Stephanie M. Graham (author), Randall B. Lindsey (author)Paperback

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This book is about the American Educational Dream and how all educators can be successful with students from diverse cultural backgrounds. Written by three Latina superintendents who have achieved great success as leaders of culturally and linguistically-diverse districts, this book provides a unique vision for transforming schools into places of equity and excellence. The authors use the lens of Cultural Proficiency to facilitate an understanding of both the barriers to educational opportunity as well the conditions that help to promote the success of underserved groups. Their lessons for being successful in diverse communities are a source of inspiration to all educators who aspire to extend the promises of democracy to every public school student.

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About Author

Carmella S. Franco is a State Trustee appointed by the California State Board of Education to oversee the academically failing Alisal Union Elementary School District in Monterey County. After retiring from twelve years as Superintendent of the Whittier City School District in 2008, Carmella then served for nearly one year as an Interim Superintendent of the Woodland Joint Unified School District. Her thirty-eight years in public education include having served as Director of Personnel, Elementary and Middle School Principal, ESL Specialist and Title VII Director in diverse school district settings, all with high English Language Learner student populations. Carmella's passion is in ensuring that students of color are provided with every opportunity to succeed, in particular, with access to higher education. She also has co-presented often on the topic of women in educational leadership roles, and currently directs the Association of California School Administrator's Superintendents Academy in Whittier, California. Maria G. Ott, Ph.D. started a new phase in her distinguished educational career when she joined the USC Rossier School of Education in October 2012. Maria G. Ott served more than seven years as Superintendent of the Rowland Unified School District, leading the district through major instructional improvement initiatives and modernization of facilities. She is nationally known for establishing partnerships with private foundations in support of Rowland Unified and its strategic plan and efforts to reach high levels of literacy and raise student achievement, placing Rowland Unified on the national stage and forefront of educational transformation movements. Rowland Unified serves the cities of La Puente, Walnut, West Covina, City of Industry, unincorporated Valinda and unincorporated Rowland Heights. Dr. Ott was selected as Superintendent in July 2005, following a national search. Prior to joining Rowland Unified, Dr. Ott served five years as the Senior Deputy Superintendent in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), second in authority to Superintendent Roy Romer, former three-term Governor of Colorado. At USC, Maria G. Ott, Ph.D. serves as Executive in Residence, teaching graduate level courses and participating in Rossier School of Education initiatives. In her role at USC, Dr. Ott will draw upon her extensive experience as an educator in urban and suburban districts, including her work on cultural proficiency as detailed in her recently released book, A Culturally Proficient Society Begins in School: Leadership for Equity, with co-authors Carmella S. Franco and Darline P. Robles. Dr. Ott has presented to national audiences on the topic of her book and continues to contribute to the educational literature about the importance of cultural proficiency in closing achievement gaps. Dr. Ott represents the Rossier School of Education as a member of the Greater Crenshaw Education Partnership Board (GCEP), serving as Vice-Chairperson. In this role, Dr. Ott will assist the GCEP Board in fulfilling the partnership agreement in support of goals established for Crenshaw High School. The GCEP partnership brings together USC, the Los Angeles Urban League, and the Bradley Foundation to address reform efforts designed to improve student academic achievement. As an experienced Superintendent, Dr. Ott brings extensive experience to her Board responsibilities. Dr. Ott was recruited to serve as the educational deputy to Superintendent Romer in 2000. Dr. Ott returned to LAUSD after seven years as the Superintendent of the Little Lake City School District, serving the cities of Santa Fe Springs, Norwalk and southeastern Downey. During her tenure, she was known for her accomplishments in improving student achievement, utilizing strategic planning to align resources to district priorities, and achieving excellence in governance with her Board. Selected as a member of the prestigious Annenberg Superintendents' group, she led a major reform initiative in Little Lake as a recipient of an Annenberg grant. She is highly regarded throughout the state's educational community for her strong leadership, her commitment to public education and her proven results working with children from diverse and multi-ethnic backgrounds. Maria G. Ott earned her Bachelor's and Master's degrees at Mount St. Mary's College and completed her doctoral studies at the University of Southern California, majoring in Educational Policy, Planning and Administration. Prior to her appointment as Superintendent of Little Lake, Maria Ott worked in the Los Angeles Unified School District as a teacher, principal, and central office administrator in the Office of Instruction. Her accomplishments included improving student achievement as a principal, and national recognition for her leadership in improving educational outcomes and programs for English language learners. Dr. Ott has earned numerous awards, including: AEOE Outstanding Administrator Award; AMAE Homenaje a la Mujer Recipient; Lamplighter in Education Recognition, Mount St. Mary's College; Distinguished Educator, California State University, Los Angeles; Educational Leadership Award, Council of Mexican American Administrators; Hispanic Woman of the Year Award, Mexican American Opportunity Foundation; USC Rossier School of Education R.O.S.E. Award; Mount St. Mary's Distinguished Alumni Award, and La Opinion Mujeres Destacadas Award, CABE 2009 Administrator of the Year Award. Darline P. Robles, Ph.D., is currently a Professor of Clinical Education at the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California. Her primary responsibility is the development of new Masters degree program for school leadership. She recently retired from the Los Angeles County Office of Education where she served as County Superintendent of Schools for eight years. As the top education leader of the nation's most populous and diverse county, she ensured the financial and academic stability of 80 school districts that serve more than two million preschool and school age children. She was the first woman and Latina to be named Superintendent of the Los Angeles County Office of Education in 2002. Prior to being named superintendent of LACOE, Dr. Robles was the chief of the Salt Lake City School District for close to eight years, where she was recognized for raising student achievement, significantly reducing the drop-out rate and securing vital resources for needy schools. Earlier, as Superintendent of the Montebello Unified School District, she saved the district from a state take-over by returning it to financial stability within two years. A native Californian, she began her 30 year plus education career as an intern at Los Padrinos Juvinile Hall at LACOE, as a teacher in Montebello, coordinator of bilingual and bicultural education and as an elementary and intermediate school principal and assistant superintendent.


Foreword by Thelma Melendez de Santa Ana, PhD Acknowledgments About the Authors Introduction 1. The Why of This Book 2. Pueblo, Kronach, and East Los Angeles: Our Beginnings 3. Conversations With the Superintendents: The Teacher Years 4. Conversations With the Superintendents: The Administrator Years 5. Lessons Learned: Acknowledging Barriers, Recognizing Cultural Assets 6. Lessons Learned: Cultural Assets Inform Actions 7. Developing Your Leadership for Equity Plan Resources References Index

Product Details

  • publication date: 03/11/2011
  • ISBN13: 9781412986533
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 208
  • ID: 9781412986533
  • weight: 408
  • ISBN10: 1412986532

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