Sept. 12, 2020

Superintendent, Gustavo Balderas

Superintendent, Gustavo Balderas

“The system is not working for some kids and it has not worked for some kids and that’s why you need to use the information to ensure that you meet the needs of all kids. And that is something that I will continue to push through my senior leaders, through my principals, through my teacher rates.”


Episode 35: Show Notes 

In our conversation today, we will be discussing the question of staying focused on the right work and its role in disrupting the system in ways that responds to the inequities the pandemic has made more visible for all of us. Our guest today is Dr. Gustavo Balderas, Superintendent of the Edmonds School District in Edmonds, Washington. Dr. Balderas has been an educator for thirty years and has served as a teacher and school administrator. He has also served in multiple district leadership positions, including in California, Oregon, and now Washington State. Our guest began his life as a child of migrant farmworkers in eastern Oregon and developed his love of learning and passion for education in Oregon public schools, from kindergarten to his doctoral degree in educational leadership at the University of Oregon. Dr. Balderas was named the Oregon Distinguished Latino Educator of the Year, the Oregon Superintendent of the Year, and the American Association of School Administrators National Superintendent of the Year. 

Key Points From This Episode: 

  • How Dr. Balderas is dealing with taking on a new superintendency during a pandemic. 
  • Get a sense of the Edmonds School District and the surrounding community. 
  • Leading by a systematic approach and communicating and engaging with families. 
  • How Dr. Balderas has remained focused on the right work despite the distractions. 
  • What disruption in the context of equity looks like now in the new environment. 
  • Hear what Dr. Balderas accomplished in the Eugene district in terms of diversifying school leadership. 
  • Using information to guide decision-making and question the system that has disadvantaged some students. 
  • Dr. Balderas explains why equity is about being intentional about access, opportunity, and inclusion. 
  • Ensuring that comprehensive distance learning (CDL) will help to close the inequity gaps. 
  • The model they will be using for the first part of the school year and the lessons they have learned thus far. 
  • Why it is imperative to keep children at the center of our focus throughout. 

 

Tweetables:

“The system is not working for some kids and it has not worked for some kids and that’s why you need to use the information to ensure that you meet the needs of all kids. And that is something that I will continue to push through my senior leaders, through my principals, through my teacher rates.” — @Sup_Balderas [0:13:17] 

“To me, equity is intentionality; it is making sure you have intentionality and access and opportunity and inclusion by using information. Equity work is just the work, the work using the information to close gaps.” — @Sup_Balderas [0:14:45]

“It’s an exciting time, I think, to be in education. It is a tiring time but it is an exciting time because this has really forced school districts to focus on how to use technology to augment schooling in a different manner and this has been a game-changer in many respects.” — @Sup_Balderas [0:21:17] 

 

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode: