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School Leaders Influence Equity

Educational leaders must be courageous if they are to authentically and successfully confront the situations in our schools that cause inequities. School leaders must examine the root causes of disparities and question the fundamental assumptions of our current educational practices within which inequities thrive. School leadership for equity is based on efficacy, action, and reflection (Larson, 2008). Efficacy is the ability to articulate values in practice that connect to strong ethical foundations of justice grounded in our laws and society. Equity focused school leaders seek ways to interact more effectively with the multiple cultures represented in their schools and districts and actively engaged in discussions about race and equity. They infused their values into programs and activities, hiring practices, resource allocation, and instructional leadership.


Achieving educational equity requires that school leaders purposely provide more significant resources targeting professional learning for educators designed to discover personal and systematic values. Singleton and Linton (2006), claim that equity is defined as “raising the achievement of all students while narrowing the gaps between the highest and lowest-performing students; and eliminating the racial predictability and disproportionality of which student groups occupy the highest and lowest achievement categories” (p. 463). Ross and Berger extend the definition and emphasized that if principals are to create equitable schools, they must engage all staff members as partners in the effort (pp. 465–472).


Larson (2008) found that effective leaders had value systems that were related to the values expressed by other members of the school community. Successful leaders sought ways to interact more effectively with the multiple cultures represented in their schools and districts and actively engaged in discussions about race and equity. Culturally-centered school leaders infuse their values into programs and activities, hiring practices, resource allocation, and instructional leadership. As instructional leaders, they implemented effective strategies that eliminated the predictability of achievement based on race and used an equity lens when examining pedagogy.


IINII uses a revolutionary Design Thinking process to help your school community gain an understanding of one’s sense of self. Having an understanding of one’s values matters because research has shown it is linked to better well-being, less stress and delinquency, and increased confidence in one’s ability to succeed. Understanding students’ values can be developed with culturally responsive practices that reflect a student’s identity and experience. Particularly helpful is focusing efforts on cultural competence and relevance and providing opportunities for students to practice bridging differences between diverse identities in a safe environment. To learn how you can create a dynamic learning environment that honors your school community, visit our website at www.iinii.org, or contact us at iinii@iinii.org or 1800-507-2502.



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