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KCRW Live: Back to School

KCRW Live: Back to School
Achievement Gaps and Language Barriers from Santa Barbara to Oxnard
A live broadcast hosted by KCRW’s Jonathan Bastian
In partnership with Antioch University
Thursday, September 7th, 2017
6PM – Reception with complimentary wine from Municipal Winemakers
7PM Sharp – Live broadcast begins

There are new faces at the Santa Barbara Unified School District.

In 2016, the district welcomed a new superintendent and four new board members. They have a lot on their plate. A report from the California Department of Education says Santa Barbara County has one of the highest percentages of homeless students in the state. Plus, one in three students are not proficient in English, and many are being misdiagnosed as special needs students.

Down in Oxnard, each student now has an iPad — but is that doing enough to help close achievement gaps or send kids to college?

As school kicks off, hear from new educational leaders with fresh initiatives and one veteran who understands the unique challenges that schools here face.


Our Guests:

Cary Matsuoka serves as Superintendent of Santa Barbara Unified School District, a K-12 district serving nearly 15,000 students. He taught middle and high school sciences, math, and computer science for 17 years, mostly at Saratoga High School in the Bay Area. He has spent the last 19 years in various administrative positions such as Assistant Principal at Lynbrook High School, Principal of Cupertino High School, Superintendent of Los Gatos-Saratoga High School District and Superintendent of Milpitas Unified School District. His wife grew up in Santa Barbara and attended local schools. He’s grateful to live in Santa Barbara and work with the dedicated team in Santa Barbara Unified School District. His priorities include equity for all students, improving practices, evaluating work, and the coaching and mentoring of the leadership team. He is a lifelong technologist and is always working on how to integrate technology into teaching and learning. Cary believes that public education is at an important crossroad and he is excited to be leading such a dynamic district.

Laura Capps is a member of the Board of Education for Santa Barbara Unified School District and a proud graduate of Santa Barbara public schools. Her son is in the first grade at the elementary school she attended. Laura served as a White House speechwriter for President Clinton, a communications director on John Kerry’s presidential campaign, an advisor in the United States Senate to Senator Edward Kennedy, part of Al Gore’s climate change campaign, and an ocean conservation advocate. She manages her own public affairs practice, collaborating with non-profit organizations on issues of climate, poverty, immigration, and childhood hunger. Active in the community, Laura is President of the Board of the Community Environmental Council and a Director of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. She has taught college courses on congress and campaigns at the University of California Washington Center and holds a Masters in History with Distinction from the London School of Economics.

Dr. Cesar Morales serves as Superintendent of the Oxnard School District, which serves nearly 17,000 preschool through 8th grade students, about half of which are English Language Learners. He has served the public education system as a high school teacher, middle school Special Education teacher, middle school counselor, Assistant Principal, Learning Director, Principal, and Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources prior to his current role of Superintendent. As a doctoral student at UCLA, his research interests included resiliency theory, school access and equity, parental involvement and college going culture. Currently, his district faces issues related to literacy, segregation and anxiety over immigration, as the school district has a high population of undocumented parents working at nearby farms.

What do you want to know?