People of Color Now Lead All of California's Public Education Systems
In January, Joseph Castro will take over as chancellor of the California State University system. Once that happens, California’s public education system will hit a remarkable milestone, with every one of its institutions run by a person of color.
The University of California is headed by Dr. Michael Drake, who is African American. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond is also Black. The California Community College system is led by Latino Eloy Ortiz Oakley.
“Together the four Californians — all of them men — oversee institutions with enrollments of nine million students, more than the enrollments in most countries,” EdSource notes. “What’s also notable is that they are leading their institutions at a time of extraordinary activism and ferment around a range of issues related to racial equity.”
Racial diversity in leadership is an important piece of the puzzle, but it is no panacea. Plenty of work still needs to be done to improve outcomes for faculty and students of color. That’s something all four leaders readily acknowledge. Their focus is on the work ahead.