In my role on the Fort Worth School Board I have had the opportunity to meet many brilliant people, and then there is San Francisco Superintendent Richard Carranza. I first met Richard standing in line outside the Eisenhower Administration Offices as we were waiting to go through security to meet with then US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to discuss our respective roles in the national initiative for My Brother's Keeper. After 15 minutes in line you would have thought that we had known each other for years. We shared "Pat" stories and speculated excitedly about the journey we were about to embark upon.
Richard is one of those people who remembers the name and details about every person he meets. He's a guy that you can't help but love. Fast forward a year later to July 2015 Richard, now Chairman of the Board for Council of the Great City Schools, nominated me to serve on the executive committee for the council where I have been given the opportunity to experience his leadership first hand. Educational leaders like Richard are few and far between. (Luckily we have a leader here in Fort Worth equally as inspiring!)
One of Richard's areas of expertice is in Bilingual Education. He started his educational leadership journey as a teacher in Bilingual Social Studies and Music. Prior to holding the districts top position Mr. Carranza was SFUSD’s Deputy Superintendent of Instruction, Innovation and Social Justice for three years. In this capacity, he led the implementation of the district’s equity-focused strategic plan. His responsibilities included 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.
As superintendent Richard has continued his lifelong mission of enhancing opportunities for all students, especially English Language learners. Last March SFUSD and Stanford University released the results of a longitudinal study where they examined four ways of studying English Learners. So far the research has yielded two papers dealing with how long it takes non-English-speaking students to reach English proficiency and be reclassified out of English Learner status and the same students’ academic trajectories over time, comparing outcomes of four English Learner instructional program types.
This past weekend Richard was in Rio Grande Valley for the Texas Association of Bilingual Educators conference where he discussed the results of this study and how it impacts the work that urban school districts have been doing towards racial equity. The presentation is pretty powerful, and if you are a data geek like me then you can really dig in to the information provided. It is broken down into three sections below, but if you would like a PDF copy please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you really just love Richard Carranza like the rest of us do, then you should definitely watch this address from the CGCS Annual Conference in Long Beach this past fall. Read the transcript here.