Before becoming an assistant to the superintendent in the
He enjoyed his work as a consultant, and the hefty salary that came with it, but Tagorda felt restless and unfulfilled in a world focused exclusively on profit.
After receiving a graduate degree from
"As I prepared to graduate from
Although he had experience volunteering and interning on the fringes of education, Tagorda, 32, lacked the graduate degree that would qualify him to fulfill his new career aspirations. Instead of spending more time and money on an additional degree, Tagorda applied and gained acceptance to the Broad Residency in Urban Education, a highly selective, two-year leadership development program that allows business executive to take alternate routes toward new careers in urban education administration.
Since it began in 2002, the little-known Broad Residency has placed more than 130 participants in 32 of the nation's largest urban school districts. There, they have led efforts to overhaul budgeting processes, revamp human resources departments, and make the purchase of textbooks and supplies more efficient. Interest in the program is starting to skyrocket, perhaps because of President
When the program sought placements for its first class of residents seven years ago, some districts were skeptical about how much the residents had to offer, Liao says.
Long Beach Unified Superintendent
Tagorda's greatest success as a Broad resident has been establishing and institutionalizing a comprehensive effort to measure and bolster student achievement and college readiness. Some of Tagorda's accomplishments related to the initiative include securing more than
U.S. Secretary of Education
Duncan says he recruited Broad residents so heavily because he thought their talents and their outsiders' perspectives could help reform the
Tagorda says he encountered some tension with Long Beach Unified veterans who didn't necessarily trust his opinion at first. He quickly realized that working as hard as everyone else to ensure students' success was the best remedy.
"If that means picking up parents and bringing them to meetings at schools where you want to increase parental involvement, then do that. I had to do that," Tagorda says. "If it means helping kindergarteners get off the bus on their first day of school, then you do that, and that's what I did. If it means assisting parents who are unfamiliar with the district's bureaucracy over the phone, you do that. You do whatever it takes to demonstrate that you're a good-faith leader, and I felt our organization truly valued that effort."
Tips for Dealing With Age Discrimination
Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, it's illegal to discriminate against anyone age 40 or older in the workplace with regard to hiring, layoffs, promotions, pay, and benefits. Here's what you should do if you think age is playing a role in your workplace woes
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