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Posted August 9, 2012

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Council of the Great City Schools’ Casserly Headlines 2012 ACE

National leader says urban student achievement is increasing.

More than 350 APS administrators participated in the 2012 Administrators Conference on Education held at the University of New Mexico, which featured a panel discussion by local education leaders, a reverse news conference and presentation by the head of the national organization representing large urban school districts.

Read Dr. Michael Casserly's speech to administrators.

The annual conference brings APS leaders together once a year just as the new school year begins to share ideas, brainstorm solutions to problems, plan for the coming months, motivate each other and, yes, even have a little fun.

Among the noted speakers was Dr. Michael Casserly, the executive director of the Council of the Great City Schools, which represents the nation’s largest school districts. Casserly pointed to strides made by large urban school districts and encouraged administrators to keep doing the work they've started.

“Many groups might have folded under the pressure, giving up in the face of criticism. But urban schools and school systems across the country are doing what a lot of people didn’t think we were capable of doing. We are rising to the occasion, we are fighting back, and we are teaching our children more effectively, and running our schools more efficiently,” Casserly said. “The result: urban student achievement is increasing. Academic gaps are showing signs of narrowing. Management and operations are improving. And the public’s confidence shows tenuous signs of reawakening.”

APS Superintendent Winston Brooks, new UNM President Bob Frank and CNM President Kathie Winograd participated in a panel discussion on how the three educational institutions work together. They fielded audience questions and said they would continue to share ideas and strive to provide seamless educational opportunities for New Mexico’s children from pre-kindergarten until they receive college diplomas.

The reverse news conference allowed administrators to hear about how education news is covered, and even ask a few questions of members of the local media. Kent Walz of the Albuquerque Journal, Tom Joles of KOB-TV and Iain Munro of KRQE-TV explained how they determine what stories they air and how they are covered. All said they are interested in hearing from schools about how they’re helping improve student achievement.

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