In 1949, professors at the New York State College for Teachers proposed to the college president a bold initiative. They suggested the formation of a school study council which would facilitate ongoing two-way communication between the college and area school districts. Through such a partnership, the college could access schools for research purposes and school personnel could benefit from the college’s knowledge of best educational practices.
The concept was approved and CASDA was born. It was an immediate success with forty area school districts affiliating with the new organization in its first year. CASDA’s first decade in the 1950’s was marked by intense and enthusiastic activity as professors surveyed the field and shared their knowledge while member school districts conducted action research and utilized college resources in their professional development programs. You can gain a sense of this energy from the stories on page 13 of this Annual Report.
Through the decades that followed, though its leadership and strategies changed with the times, CASDA’s mission to “engage educators and their schools in addressing challenges, embracing opportunities and creating positive, lasting outcomes for students” never wavered. Today, after almost seventy years after its inception, CASDA remains a dynamic reginal partner assisting schools as they navigate an increasingly complex educational environment.
We have grown over the years. The past decade has been marked by significant expansion of services and exponential growth to meet the needs which school districts face in these challenging times. Known in past decades as the area’s premier host for important educational conferences, CASDA’s work has grown to include distance learning, technical assistance services and the facilitation of professional learning communities.
I have had the great privilege to lead this venerable organization for the past seven eventful years. I have wonderful colleagues who are committed to our work, from the Executive Committee which provides strategic direction to the fifty members of CASDA’s faculty and staff who collectively bring centuries of professional experience as well as great passion to our work. We are also all deeply grateful to our 110 member districts which engage with us and permit us to help them help kids to realize their potential.