Speakers

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Tanya Broder
Senior Staff Attorney
National Immigration Law Center

Tanya Broder is a senior staff attorney at the National Immigration Law Center. She specializes in the laws and policies affecting access to health care, public benefits and education for low-income immigrants across the United States. She holds a juris doctor from Yale Law School and writes articles and policy analyses; provides technical assistance; acts as co-counsel on litigation; and provides training to legal and social service providers, government agencies, legislative staff, and community-based organizations.

Carl Cohn
Executive Director
California Collaborative for Educational Excellence

Carl Cohn is the first executive director of the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence and a former member of the State Board of Education. Dr. Cohn’s 45-year educational career began as a teacher/counselor in the Compton Unified School District and progressed to superintendent positions in Long Beach and San Diego Unified. He has helped shape the educational leaders of tomorrow as a professor at multiple universities—including the University of Southern California and Harvard. Dr. Cohn is a recognized thought leader in the national educational arena, has presented at dozens of educational conferences and contributed to journal and media articles regarding educational leadership and reform.

Oscar Cruz
President and CEO
Families In Schools

Oscar Cruz is the president and CEO of Families In Schools (FIS), which is dedicated to involving parents in gaining the best possible education for their children. Before becoming president and CEO, Cruz was FIS’ vice president and director of community engagement and advocacy. Prior to FlS, Cruz was program director for Community Partners, directing projects in community technology and civic engagement. He also served as senior program manager at the Center for Civic Education, where he managed an international network of civil society organizations, school districts, universities, and foundations working to implement civic engagement programs for students and youth throughout the United States and Latin America. He has traveled extensively throughout Europe and Latin America and served as an official international electoral observer in Mexico’s federal elections (2000 and 2006). He holds a Master of Arts degree in Latin American studies from Georgetown University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and Latin America studies from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez
Vice President
Azusa Unified School District Board of Education

Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez is vice president of the Azusa Unified School District Board of Education. In her fifteenth year as a school board member, she believes strongly that the economic success of our country will only truly be achieved through educational equity, and that belief drives her advocacy work. Xilonin currently works for Californians Together, directing their ‘Educator Support for Immigrant and Refugee Students’ project. She also serves on the CSBA Board of Directors, representing the greater San Gabriel Valley. In the past, Xilonin has served as the President of Californians Together and President of the California Latino School Boards Association.

Mike Kirst
California State Board of Education
President

Michael Kirst, president of the State Board of Education, is a professor emeritus of education at Stanford University. Prior to joining the Stanford University faculty in 1969, Kirst held several positions with the federal government, including staff director of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Manpower, Employment and Poverty, and director of program planning for elementary and secondary education at the U.S. Office of Education. He was a former president of the California State Board of Education, and has served as the board’s president since his reappointment in 2011. His latest books are, From High School to College with Andrea Venezia (2004) and Political Dynamics of American Education (2009). Kirst received his Ph.D. in political economy and government from Harvard.

Margie McHugh
Director
Migration Policy Institute

Margie McHugh is director of the Migration Policy Institute’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, a national hub for leaders in government, community affairs, business and academia to obtain the knowledge they need to respond to the challenges and opportunities that today’s high rates of immigration pose for communities across the United States. Ms. McHugh’s work focuses on education quality and access issues for immigrants and their children from early childhood through K-12 and adult, post-secondary and workforce skills programs. She also leads the Center’s work seeking a more coordinated federal response to immigrant integration, and more workable systems for recognition of the education and work experience of immigrants.

Pedro Noguera
Professor of Education
Graduate School of Education and Information Sciences at UCLA

Pedro Noguera is Distinguished Professor of Education in the Graduate School of Education and Information Sciences at UCLA. His research focuses on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions and demographic trends. He is the author of eleven books and over 200 articles and monographs. He serves on the boards of numerous national and local organizations and appears as a regular commentator on educational issues on CNN, MSNBC, National Public Radio, and other national news outlets. Prior to joining UCLA he served as a tenured professor and holder of endowed chairs at New York University, Harvard University and UC Berkeley. In 2014 he was elected to the National Academy of Education.

Russell Rumberger
Professor of Education
Department of Education, University of California, Santa Barbara

Russell Rumberger is a professor in the Department of Education, University of California, Santa Barbara. His research focuses on: education and work; the schooling of disadvantaged students, particularly school dropouts and linguistic minority students; and school effectiveness. He has served on three National Research Council committees. He co-authored the USDOE Dropout Prevention Practice Guide (2008). He is author of Dropping Out: Why Students Drop Out of High School and What Can Be Done About It (Harvard University Press, 2011). He currently directs the California Dropout Research Project. He received a Ph.D. in Education and a M.A. in Economics from Stanford University and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University.