Research now shows that countries that experienced longer periods of strong economic growth were likely to be characterized by more equality than less. This conclusion undergirds the importance of building a national equity agenda; community schools must be part of that agenda.
As Deputy Superintendent of Instruction, Innovation and Social Justice for the San Francisco Unified School District, Richard A. Carranza is leading the implementation of the district's equity focused strategic plan. His responsibilities include the redesign of the district's central office to better support school sites and the implementation of a core instructional curriculum to achieve more equitable educational results for all students.
Prior to his work with SFUSD, Mr. Carranza was Northwest Region Superintendent for the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he oversaw 66 schools and over 66,000 students. Under his leadership the Northwest Region made significant strides towards improving student achievement including an increase in the number of middle schools and high schools making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) and double digit reductions in the percentage of special education and Limited English Proficient (LEP) students performing below proficiency levels in mathematics and language arts.
He has also served as a high school principal in Tucson, Arizona, and in Las Vegas, Nevada; high school assistant principal; and a teacher of bilingual social studies and music. Mr. Carranza earned a B.A. in Secondary Education from the University of Arizona and a M.Ed., with distinction, in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. He has also completed doctoral coursework through Northern Arizona University and is currently pursuing an Ed.D degree through Nova Southeastern University in Educational Leadership.
Having entered the public school system speaking no English, Mr. Carranza has experienced, first-hand, the transformational power of access and equity in providing a rich and rewarding education to all students.
Jan Christensen joined the Redwood City School District as superintendent in May, 2006.
Ms. Christensen was born and raised outside of Detroit, Michigan. She began her work in education in 1978 in Plymouth, Michigan as a middle school teacher, teaching grades 6-8. In 1981 she moved to Alaska and taught at Sitka High School for one year and Clark Middle School for 5 years. Following a one-year internship Mrs. Christensen served as an Anchorage assistant principal for two years, first at Hanshew Middle School and then at Mears Middle School. She served as an assistant principal at East High School for 3 years before being appointed as principal at Chugiak High School. From July 2001 to April 2006 Ms. Christensen was the Anchorage School Districtâ€™s assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.
Carlos A. Garcia
With a career in education that spans over 35 years, Carlos A. Garcia has built a strong track record for boosting student achievement and narrowing the achievement gap through his work as a teacher, principal, central office administrator and leader in classroom instruction.
In 2007, Garcia began his tenure as Superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD). Under his leadership, the district has seen consistent improvement in achievement for all students, including increased academic gains for Latino and African American students. He has also led the way for district policies aimed at graduating all SFUSD students with bilingual skills and the credits required for admission to California’s university system.
John R. Porter Jr. is currently the Superintendent of Schools in the Franklin-McKinley School District, San Jose, California. Formally, he held the same position in Ridgewood, New Jersey as their Superintendent. Prior his New Jersey experience, he was the Director, America's Choice School Design: High Schools at the National Center on Education and the Economy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing and enriching education and human resource institutions through policy analysis and development, institutional design, and technical services. There he led the implementation of the America's Choice School Design in 32 high schools and twelve districts around the country. He also coordinated three regional educational reform initiatives with business leaders and higher education partners.
Randy Rice is Executive Director of Education Programs at Farmers Insurance.
Anthony "Tony" Smith, Ph.D., was named Superintendent of the Oakland Unified School District on May 22, 2009, when the seven-member Oakland Board of Education selected him by unanimous vote. An Oakland resident and parent of students in Oakland Public Schools, Smith is the District's first permanent, locally-appointed Superintendent since 2003.
A veteran of the Bay Area education reform movement and a champion for equity in schools, Smith's tenure in District officially began on July 1, 2009. Prior to joining the Oakland Unified School District District, Smith served as Deputy Superintendent for the 56,000-student San Francisco Unified School District from November 2007 through June 2009, earning lavish praise from San Francisco Superintendent Carlos Garcia and the broader community for his work in the areas of innovation, instruction and social justice. Smith's time in San Francisco followed his days as Superintendent of the Emery Unified School District (EUSD) in Emeryville, California. Smith accepted the top post in Emeryville schools when the Board of Education regained control following State Administration in 2004. Prior to leading Emery Unified, Smith was Director of the Emeryville Citywide Initiative, with particular responsibility for the Math, Science, Technology Initiative (MSTI), a joint project of EUSD, the City of Emeryville, the Emery Ed Fund and the Bay Area Coalition for Equitable Schools (BayCES). In this role, Smith fostered the development of a local, state and federal agenda promoting greater attention to parent, community and teacher voices as well as the creation and support of high-quality, equitable, small autonomous schools.
Lisa Villarreal is Vice-Chair of the Coalition for Community Schools, and Program Officer of EducaÂtion for the San Francisco Foundation.
Michael Watenpaugh is currently the superintendent of San Rafael City Schools. Previously, he worked as a top administrator at Cotati-Rohnert Park Unified School District and then as a superintendent at Cotati-Rohnert Park Unified School District.
Richard Carranza, Deputy Superintendent of Instruction, Innovation and Social Justice for the San Francisco Unified School District, discusses an educational initiative that coordinates schools and community infrastructure.