State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond has appointed San Diego County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Gothold to the Black Student Achievement Task Force.
The task force brings together practitioners, advocates, researchers, foundation partners, thought leaders, students, parents, and other experts in the field. The group’s primary goal is to foster student achievement for Black students, who are over-represented in areas such as suspensions and chronic absenteeism and under-represented in graduation rates, when compared to their White peers. The issues mirror broader racial gaps among populations experiencing poverty and health disparities.
Calling Gothold “a leader and a champion for equity,” Thurmond said, “I have been and continue to be deeply impressed by Dr. Gothold’s commitment to overcoming inequities that effect many children, including our Black, Native American, English learner, and immigrant students. Under Dr. Gothold’s leadership, San Diego County has created a number of best practices, including programs to expand the educator pipeline to bring more diverse educators into the field and gathering student and community feedback to create the Equity Blueprint for Action. The work we have ahead of us is important but difficult, and I believe Dr. Gothold will make incredible contributions to our task force and to our students.”
Gothold has more than 25 years in K-12 education with a focus on building school systems with equity at the core. He has a proven track record of supporting quality professional learning for teachers, backing innovative ideas, and putting students first.
As San Diego County superintendent of schools, with the support of the San Diego County Board of Education, Gothold has made equity a top priority. Gothold’s work was recently recognized by the California Association of Black School Educators (CABSE) with a Black EdCellence award for his long-standing commitment to advancing equity.
“Just by talking to Dr. Gothold for a few short minutes, one can easily pick up on his passion for ensuring that every student – regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, language, or background – has the opportunity to succeed in school and in life,” said Micah Ali, CABSE past president and conference chairman. “We are moved by Dr. Gothold’s work over his 25 years in K-12 education, especially when it comes to championing equity, innovation, and ensuring the students come first.”
Black EdCellence Awards are given to equity champions who have worked in earnest toward advancing education equity and opportunities for Black students, and who are making a demonstrable impact in achieving this goal. These are individuals who embody CABSE’s mission to expand the PK-14 educational opportunities available to all students in California, with an emphasis on under-represented and under-served Black students, by enacting policies that will strengthen student performance while bolstering opportunities for college and career readiness, thus ensuring competency and lifelong success, while also inspiring others to do the same.
“When we serve Black kids well, we’re serving all our kids,” said Gothold, who calls himself “humbled and honored” by the appointment and the recognition from CABSE. “We have a responsibility to listen to the voice of students, parents, and the community so that experiences for Black youth are positive at every grade level, in every school, and so all students leave our programs with an abundance of opportunity.”