Interactive Virtual Discussion Addresses Education Inequities Exposed by COVID-19

ALAS, ThoughtExchange, Education Elements

Association of Latino Administrators & Superintendents (ALAS) to convene district leaders to discuss critical topics this Thursday, April 16, 2020 at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 14, 2020) – The Association of Latino Administrators & Superintendents (ALAS), in partnership with Education Elements and Thoughtexchange, is convening district and state leaders to discuss the education inequities exposed by COVID-19. Speakers Chancellor Richard Carranza of New York City Department of Education, Dr. Gustavo Balderas of Eugene School District 4J, Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney of Aldine Independent School District, Dr. Don Austin of Palo Alto Unified School District, and Ms. Theresa Plascencia of Waukegan Public Schools will lead an interactive virtual discussion on this critical and timely topic on Thursday, April 16, 2020 at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT.


“The COVID-19 outbreak has brought to light the inequalities facing marginalized students of color, status, and need, including LatinX youth,” said Dr. Maria Armstrong, Executive Director of ALAS. “The call for action is now to finally shore up these inequities. The upcoming webinar will bring together bold thinkers and action-oriented education leaders who will not only address this important topic, but discuss what we as education leaders and an education community as a whole can do to drive real change.”

During the event, the speakers will discuss current inequities exposed by COVID-19, what the state of education may look like for these students in the near- and long-term future, and what education leaders can do to help. Attendees can submit questions/thoughts via Thoughtexchange prior to the event to further guide the discussion.

About the speakers

Richard A. Carranza is Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education. He leads the largest system in the nation, serving 1.1 million students, as parents and educators address the current crisis, in addition to long term issues of bias, structural inequities, and low expectations that in his words have, for too long, impacted black and brown students, students with disabilities, and those whose families speak English as a second language.

Dr. Gustavo Balderas is Superintendent of Eugene School District 4J, Oregon and the 2020 National Superintendent of the Year. Throughout his career Dr. Balderas has focused on leadership and increasing cultural proficiency, including developing equity systems around student behavior and teacher hiring practices. Currently, his team is providing tens of thousands of meals, child care, and distance learning to his students and community.

Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney serves as the Superintendent of Schools for the Aldine Independent School District. She has received several distinctions and honors, including being named a finalist for the 2020 Female Superintendent of the Year by AASA and was named Superintendent of the Year for Texas in 2017. During the current coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Goffney is ensuring that Aldine ISD continues to focus on issues of equity – including ensuring all families have access to learning, meals, and consistent contact with teachers and counselors for support.

Dr. Don Austin is the Superintendent of Schools for the Palo Alto Unified School District. As one of the premiere school districts in California, PAUSD serves a diverse range of students from advantaged children of tech industry giants and Stanford University professors to historically underrepresented students from poverty. Dr. Austin was born and raised in Chula Vista, California, attended Baker University in Kansas, and has served the students of California for the last 25 years.

Ms. Theresa Plascencia is Superintendent of Waukegan Public Schools, District 60, in Waukegan IL. Ms. Plascencia has made social activism and equity the key focus of her educational career, with an emphasis on providing all students with the tools they need to be successful in society. She is leading the efforts to provide remote learning, internet devices, and meal services.

About the moderator

David Hardy is a Managing Partner at Education Elements where he is guiding systems of educational equity support for districts. He has led state turnaround efforts in Ohio and previously was the Deputy Superintendent of Academics for St. Louis Public Schools.

To learn more about the upcoming virtual discussion, visit Education Elements’ website at

About the Association of Latino Administrators & Superintendents (ALAS)

The Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS) is a national non-profit organization with the mission to provide leadership at the national level that assures every school in America effectively serves the educational needs of all students with an emphasis on Latin/o/a/x youth by building capacity, promoting best practices, and transforming educational institutions. ALAS is committed to identifying, recruiting, developing and advancing Latin/o/a/x school administrators in order to improve the educational accomplishments of Latin/o/a/x youth.

The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.

Current issue of Equity & Access:

Equity & Access - Issue 28

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