Cheryl CamachoSpecial Assistant to the Commissioner on Equity, Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education, Boston, MA, B.S. and M.Ed., University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Ed.L.D., Harvard Graduate School of Education (in progress)
    Though nearly 40 percent of the Massachusetts student population identify as children of color, only 4 percent of traditional school district superintendents are people of color—a level that has remained flat for the past decade despite an increasing number of students of color—and the state has disturbing performance gaps between students when disaggregated by race and income. Influence 100 is a project designed to aggressively increase the racial/ethnic diversity of Massachusetts superintendents, senior policy leaders, and the bench to these roles by 100 in ten years, resulting in a 10 percent increase in the number of people of color in superintendent roles and a 56 percent increase in the number of people of color in senior policy leadership at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education. Influence 100 will begin with a four-year pilot phase and a strategy focused on addressing this challenge through the multiple frames of pipeline repair, network development, and increasing the cultural competence of the environment surrounding aspiring superintendents and senior policy leaders.
    Cheryl Camacho, a third-year doctoral student at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, has led the research and design of this initiative. Cheryl brings a variety of lenses to the work: former public school student who integrated her elementary school, classroom teacher in a district serving “majority minority” students, principal in a racially and economically segregated school, district-level administrator in the superintendent’s cabinet in a district grappling with balancing the competing commitments between poor and wealthy families, and white families and families of color, and—most importantly—parent to three children of color attending public schools in Massachusetts.