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AASA Leading for Equity: A Superintendent’s Mission to End Systemic Racism

Thursday, April 29, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT

Leading for Equity

Presented by Dr. Mark T. Bedell, Superintendent, Kansas City Public Schools (MO)
Moderated by Dr. Valerie Truesdale, Assistant Executive Director, AASA, The School Superintendents Association

Hosted by AASA, The School Superintendents Association 
AASA’s Leadership Network, providing premier professional learning for educational leaders

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Closed captioning will be added to the recording within 2 weeks of the live presentation.
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Kansas City Public Schools (KCPS) has had an intentional and concentrated focus on equity over the last five years. Please watch Superintendent Dr. Mark Bedell as he speaks about structural racism and its lasting impact on the Kansas City community. Highlighting the impact of redlining, which was birthed in Kansas City and eventually replicated across the country, this recorded conversation also covers the juggernaut of uneven economic development that perpetuates systemic racist practices financially.

Watch Dr. Bedell in learning what KCPS has done through an equity policy, an equity funding model, the creation of an office of equity and innovations division, the elimination of oppressively written language in the Code of Student Conduct and the unpacking of policies to align with the equity policy. Dr. Bedell will share ways school districts can direct school system resources and programs so every student has the opportunity to reach his or her greatest potential.

This presentation will be of particular value to school superintendents, K-12 school and district leaders, and aspiring leaders.


Dr. Mark T. BedellAbout the Presenter

Kansas City Public Schools Superintendent Mark T. Bedell, Ed.D. is a talented, caring teacher and administrator and one of the top urban public-school leaders in the United States. As the child of a working-class family in upstate New York, he overcame significant challenges and was inspired to take his education seriously by teachers and other caring adults who pushed him to achieve his dreams.

His educational experience and leadership made Dr. Bedell a natural choice for the superintendent’s post at KCPS in 2016. With guidance from students, parents, staff and partners, Dr. Bedell crafted and enacted first a post-entry plan and later a five-year strategic plan which placed student achievement at the center of the school system’s work, made the central office more effective and efficient, improved School Board governance, and increased staff skills and morale. In partnership with Metropolitan Community College and the Full Employment Council of Greater Kansas City, he led the effort to launch a Middle College Program to give 17- to 24-year-olds who never finished school an opportunity to earn a high school diploma and enter college.

In June 2018, Dr. Bedell and the KCPS School Board created an innovative equity policy to direct the school system’s resources and programs so that every student has the opportunity to reach his or her greatest potential. Dr. Bedell has received many recognitions, including being named a “Superintendent to Watch” by the National School Public Relations Association and a “New Superintendent of the Year” by the Missouri Association of School Administrators. He is one of only 51 people selected to participate in the “Missouri Influencer Series” by The Kansas City Star. He was selected by the Kansas City Business Journal for its “Kansas City’s Power 100 of 2019” list. He has also been named to 435 Magazine’s Top 50 Power List as one of the most powerful people to shape the Kansas City region. Dr. Bedell was a featured guest on the June 23, 2020, episode of PBS NewsHour, when he spoke about how distance learning was increasing inequity. He has been a regular panelist for Discovery Education’s virtual “Equity Talks.” State education officials also recruited Dr. Bedell to be part of the Commissioner’s Roundtable.

For Dr. Bedell, one of his most important honors came in the spring of 2018 when students from Southeast High School gave him an award of appreciation for his efforts on their behalf and for the positive impact he will have on future students.


Valerie TruesdaleAbout the Moderator

Dr. Valerie Truesdale joined AASA early in 2019 as the assistant executive director responsible for guiding leadership development services and programs. With years of experience in the superintendency and roles in instructional technology, she knows that AASA’s Leadership Network can be a substantial resource for school leaders trying to keep pace with the rapidly changing delivery of K-12 education.


Closed captioning will be added to the recording within 2 weeks of the live presentation.

Join the Leading for Equity community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.


The AASA Leadership Network drives superintendent success, innovation, and growth, shaping the future of public education while preparing students for what’s next. We are the largest, most diverse network of superintendents in America. Passionate and committed, we connect educational leaders to the professional learning, leadership development, relationships, and partnerships they need to ensure a long career of impact.



Thursday, April 29, 2021
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT
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