Join Me in Welcoming Bahamas ASCD

Who is ASCD? This brief, simple question could elicit a variety of answers. I can speak about our role as a diverse, nonpartisan association. Or I could talk about our work in developing professional development solutions for educators worldwide.

But the best answer is, that at its heart, ASCD is a community of education leaders dedicated to supporting the success of each learner. We are 140,000 members strong—superintendents, principals, teachers, professors, and advocates from more than 143 countries—and now 56 affiliate organizations, dedicated to this ideal.

ASCD’s affiliate organizations are a very important part of who we are. While separate organizations, our affiliates work collaboratively with ASCD as part of the ASCD community to foster common values and goals essential to the way educators learn, teach, and lead. Affiliates influence education policy and provide a forum for the exchange of quality education practices.

That is why ASCD is so pleased to announce that the newly formed Bahamas ASCD has joined our affiliate community. Bahamas ASCD began as an ASCD Connected Community in 2008. ASCD Connected Communities bring together groups of individuals concerned with improving learning and teaching that wish to align with ASCD. Each connected community determines its focus and definition.

Beginning in 2010, ASCD Constituent Programs staff worked with the connected community leadership online and face-to-face on governance, leadership development, and capacity-building. The Connected Community held a successful conference in 2011 and began to undertake the work necessary to meet the requirements of affiliation. Constituent Programs staff conducted board development training in the Bahamas in 2011, and just this month the ASCD Board of Directors approved their request to become a full ASCD affiliate.

Bahamas ASCD is highly committed to advancing the ASCD’s Whole Child Initiative at both the K–12 and higher education levels. They have begun to focus on the quality of education in their country. We look forward to working with them and their members to grow the impact of ASCD around the world!

You can learn more about ASCD Connected Communities or find an ASCD affiliate near you on ascd.org.

Dr. Gene R. Carter is a veteran educator with experience as a private and public school teacher, public school administrator, superintendent of schools, and university professor. Before joining ASCD in 1992, Dr. Carter served for nine years as the superintendent of schools in Norfolk, Va., where he succeeded in reducing the dropout rate, built partnership programs with the private sector, implemented a districtwide school improvement program, established an early education center for 3-year-olds and their parents, and implemented a regional scholarship foundation for public school students. He has written numerous articles and book chapters concentrating on educational issues and topics and is the coauthor of "The American School Superintendent: Leading in an Age of Pressure" (Jossey-Bass Inc., 1997).