August 6, 2015

Educational Studies Prof. Carl Cohn to lead California Collaborative for Educational Excellence

Carl Cohn, professor in Claremont Graduate University (CGU’s) School of Educational Studies and co-director of the school’s Urban Leadership program, has been named executive director of the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE), a new state agency that will advise public school districts on issues related to student success and funding.

The five-member board of the CCEE voted unanimously on Thursday, Aug. 6, to appoint Cohn to the role. His begins on Sept. 1.

Claremont Graduate University Professor Carl Cohn
Carl Cohn

“I’m humbled and honored to be selected to head this new state agency, whose sole purpose is to get the right kind of help to schools and classrooms,” Cohn said. “We’re not building a new bureaucracy or replicating an existing one but, through collaboration and partnering, we’re focused on providing schools with the needed support and assistance to accelerate student performance.”

The CCEE was established by the California State Legislature and governor in 2013 as part of Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) legislation, which redesigned California’s school funding mechanisms to give local districts more flexibility in designing programs to improve student performance. Under the new rules, local educational agencies must develop Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAP) that explain how they are meeting student needs and justify how their spending is improving student outcomes.

As head of the CCEE, Cohn will work collaboratively with State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and with the 58 county superintendents across the state in supporting school districts as they work towards accomplishing the goals identified in their LCAPs.

Cohn’s appointment to the agency extends his long history of leadership in public education. He served as the superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District from 2005 to 2007 and as the superintendent of the Long Beach Unified School District from 1992 to 2002.

During his leadership in Long Beach, the district achieved record attendance, the lowest rate of suspension in a decade, decreases in student failure and dropout rates, and an increase in the number of students taking college preparatory classes.

In 2011, California Governor Jerry Brown appointed him to the State Board of Education, and he completed his term in January of this year.

Cohn will be on leave from CGU as he assumes this new position, although he will continue his work with CGU students on a part-time basis. Professor Tom Luschei will serve as co-director of the Urban Leadership program, along with Professor Kyo Yamashiro.