5 Proven Strategies for Equity-Focused Leadership

Read the second paper in our series on reshaping educational leadership for the future. Learn how school leaders can accelerate student learning and keep great teachers.
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Research confirms that all students, including students of color and their white peers, benefit from seeing diverse teachers and school leaders working together to replace inequitable practices with school cultures anchored in respect, high expectations, and trusting relationships. This kind of leadership also creates the kind of conditions in which high-quality teachers want to stay in their roles, at their schools.

Now more than ever, it is imperative that education leaders continue to lead equity-focused work in schools, even though it can be challenging, risky, or uncomfortable at times. 

What does equity-focused leadership look like? 

At New Leaders, we are pleased to offer proven equity-driven leadership actions that you can start implementing in your school today. Our new paper, Equity-Focused Leadership: How School Leaders Can Accelerate Student Learning (and Keep Great Teachers), is the next in a series of papers on reshaping education leadership for the future. 

                                         Discover proven strategies for equity-focused leadership that

                                   also create the conditions in which teachers want to stay in their roles 

Learn how to build a culture of trust, to give teachers voice in school-based decisions, and ensure all students have access to rigorous learning opportunities. Equity-focused school leaders not only create the conditions in which all students and adults can thrive, they push themselves to continuously reflect and grow into more effective agents for change. 

Read the series on reshaping education leadership for the future

Studies show that students benefit when they are led by educators who look like them. Think about Dr. Miguel Cardona, the U.S. Secretary of Education. He was an English-language learner in school. Approximately five million students in the US identify as English-language learners, just like Dr. Cardona. Now they can look to him as an example of what is possible. 

That kind of representation—the ability to see yourself reflected in the leaders around you—is invaluable when 54% of all K-12 public school students identify as people of color. ​​Yet the diversity among our nation’s teachers, principals, and superintendents has not kept pace. This difference is called a representation gap.

In partnership with other education organizations, we’re working to close that gap. Each of the papers in this series identifies how we can begin to do so at every level of leadership: from teachers of color stepping into more leadership to district leaders building diverse teacher and principal pipelines. (That last paper is due out in September 2022). 

                                                    Learn why representation is important right now 

                                                and how we can begin to close the representation gap.  

                                               Discover how teachers of color can elevate their voices 

                                       and help direct solutions by building their leadership capacity today. 

Putting it all together to accelerate student learning and keep great teachers 

A quality K-12 education can, and should, be accessible to all children in the US. The effects of COVID-19 and the opportunity gaps it magnified, in addition to the longstanding second pandemic of racial injustice, have shone a light on inequities that have always existed, especially in our K-12 education system. While representation does not fix these larger systemic challenges, it can fuel student success in classrooms and schools across our nation.  

We know equity work is complex and multi-faceted. We know school leaders are change agents. We’re here to support you on your journey as you lead the change you want to see. 

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