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Council Names New Chief Academic Officer

  • Karla Estrada recently joined the Council of the Great City Schools as its new chief academic officer. In this position, she will work to advance rigorous standards in the nation’s large urban schools by supporting Council member districts in implementing high-quality curriculum, instruction and practice that ensures all students are able to attain their greatest potential.

    Estrada succeeds Ricki Price-Baugh, who retired from the Council after 17 years.

    Before joining the Council, Estrada served as the deputy executive director for the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence, a statewide agency charged to lead instructional improvement and transformation support provided to school districts and charter schools, especially those addressing academic inequities among student groups.

    She has also served in Boston Public Schools as its deputy superintendent of academic and student support for equity team. A graduate of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s alternative education program, Estrada served in multiple roles in the nation’s second largest district, including as a special education teacher and area administrator working directly with schools and district leaders in attaining successful educational outcomes for all students, especially students with disabilities and English learners. 

    Throughout the years, Estrada has served on many of the Council’s special education strategic support teams. As a daughter of immigrants and a student that once experienced homelessness, she shares the organization’s desire to close the academic achievement gaps between students in large city schools and their peers across the country.

    “We are excited to have someone of Karla’s caliber and expertise join the Council,” said Council Executive Director Ray Hart. “Throughout her years in public education, she has demonstrated a deep commitment to improving student achievement, and we look forward to her continuing this work at the Council and helping the nation’s urban schoolchildren reach their full potential.”

    Estrada holds a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Northridge, and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership for Social Justice from Loyola Marymount University.