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The CASLA Chorus: Leader’s Voices in the Field

Pathways to Excellence: Developing and Cultivating Leaders for the Classroom and Beyond

ISBN: 978-1-78441-116-9

Publication date: 29 November 2014


With 1,130 schools serving 500,000 +  students, California has the largest number of charter schools of any state in the country. The rapid expansion of charters over the last decade has prompted the development of quality charter school leadership preparation programs in southwestern California (Benjamin-Edwards, R. (2012). The new reality for charter and autonomous school leaders. In K. B. Hughes & S. A. M. Silva (Eds.), Identifying leaders for urban charter, autonomous and independent schools: Above and beyond the standards (Vol. 18, pp. 315). Advances in Educational Administration. Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.). Charter school leadership programs from Loyola Marymount and Fielding University as well as in-house leadership programs developed by large charter management organizations like KIPP and Green Dot provided the foundation for the Charter Autonomous School Leadership Academy (CASLA), which opened in 2011 at the California State University Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) in Carson, CA. This chapter will capture reflections from sitting administrators who graduated from CASLA about the impact of that program on their practice. It will highlight the specific components of the preparation program that these leaders identify as most strongly influencing their work. The chapter will include a discussion of components such as the leadership framework, field based project, and analysis of leadership dispositions including description of how learning in these areas assists work in charter and autonomous schools.


Benjamin-Edwards, R. (2014), "The CASLA Chorus: Leader’s Voices in the Field", Pathways to Excellence: Developing and Cultivating Leaders for the Classroom and Beyond (Advances in Educational Administration, Vol. 21), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 183-202.



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