October 14, 2013 José J. Cole-Gutiérrez, director of charter schools for Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), works each day to bring exceptional public school choices to the children of Los Angeles through high-quality charter school authorizing. The National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) is pleased to announce Cole-Gutiérrez has been selected to serve on its Board of Directors. With his appointment, Cole-Gutiérrez brings his outstanding commitment to education and his experiences serving the nation's second largest school district to help advance the public education sector."I am humbled by the opportunity to join NACSA's board and thank the board for their support," said Cole-Gutiérrez. "LAUSD truly embraces NACSA's One Million Lives campaign to impact education quality through improved authorizing. I am excited to have the opportunity to serve and advance NACSA's mission, and help make a positive impact on millions of children's lives through their work."
Since 2007, Cole-Gutiérrez has led the Charter Schools Division for the Los Angeles district. Under the leadership of the LAUSD Board of Education and Superintendent John Deasy, he has worked to support quality and foster accountability within the district's charter school sector through effective and efficient authorizing practices. Los Angeles currently has nearly 250 charter schools under its jurisdiction serving more than 130,000 children.
Prior to joining the district, Cole-Gutiérrez served as general manager of the Los Angeles Region for the California Charter Schools Association. He also has extensive experience serving children, youth, and adults through past work as a teacher and administrator at PUENTE Learning Center. Cole-Gutiérrez holds an A.B. in history with honors in education from Stanford University and a master's in education from Harvard University.
For Cole-Gutiérrez, his work is personal. "As the proud son of migrant farm workers, I know the sacrifices my parents made so that I could be the first in our family to go to college and my future would be one full of opportunity," he remarked. "As a father of six, I embrace my responsibility with gratitude to provide that same or greater opportunity to my children. Every day, I see the face of a child, of my children, and I envision a day where each and every youth has a great education in a safe, high-quality school. My service with NACSA will provide a unique opportunity to be a steward of our work in LA beyond our city and state to affect positive change for our children."
NACSA President and CEO Greg Richmond added, "José is a leader in our sector and an excellent addition to our Board of Directors. He has a vision for quality, a dedication to service, and a drive for not only the children of Los Angeles, but nationally. He truly is an ambassador for our sector."
This spring, Cole-Gutiérrez was selected as a participant in NACSA's Leaders Program, an intensive one-year program aimed at garnering advanced expertise in authorizing and leadership.
Cole-Gutiérrez joins on the NACSA Board Chair James Peyser, partner at NewSchools Venture Fund; Vice Chair Lisa Graham Keegan, founder and president of the Education Breakthrough Network; Treasurer Josephine Baker, past executive director of the D.C. Public Charter School Board; Secretary Alan Coverstone, executive director of Metro Nashville Public Schools; Steve Canavero, Ph.D., director of the Public Charter School Authority of Nevada; Frederick Hess, resident scholar and director of Education Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute; Karega Rausch, Equity Project coordinator at Indiana University; and Hanna Skandera, Secretary-Designate, New Mexico Secretary of Education.
The National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) is committed to advancing excellence and accountability in the charter school sector and to increasing the number of high-quality charter schools across the nation. To accomplish this mission, NACSA works to improve the policies and practices of authorizers--the organizations designated to approve, monitor, renew, and, if necessary, close charter schools. NACSA provides training, consulting, and policy guidance to authorizers. It also advocates for laws and policies that raise the bar for excellence among authorizers and the schools they charter. In late 2012, NACSA launched its One Million Lives campaign to give one million more children the opportunity to attend a great school. Visit www.qualitycharters.org.