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The secret to a strong plan: Making it doable

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“The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” These words are as true today as when poet Robert Burns wrote them hundreds ...

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Leaders must be allies for undocumented students

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The fear in the town of Morristown, Tennessee, was palpable. A day after immigration agents raided a meatpacking plant there a few weeks ago, more than 500 young ...

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How do you take on bias in your school? Practice.

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Veteran principal Rodney Moore had an important decision to make. After hearing that English language learners were feeling marginalized and unwelcome, he wondered if he ...

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CEO Irma Zardoya on the National School Walkout

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Something beautiful and inspirational happened yesterday in schools across America. Students were given a voice, and the world listened. In the world of educational leadership, ...

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Don’t let fear interfere with equity

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Becoming the superintendent of Saint Paul Public Schools several years ago put me on a racial equity journey that forever changed who I am as ...

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Keeping schools calm and carrying on despite threats

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Since the Parkland shooting, threats to schools across the country have increased exponentially. According to the Educators School Safety Network, threats have risen from the ...

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Black history is not a month, it’s a key to dismantling inequities

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It’s Black History Month. 28 short days. We also need to celebrate Groundhog’s Day, Valentine’s Day, President’s Day and Ash Wednesday. It’s a set-up. It’s ...

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Every school system needs an equity guardian

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We are thrilled to introduce the first of our occasional guest bloggers sharing expertise on leadership and equity from the field.    Intentionality. Without it, ...

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Equity takes time, and a leadership pipeline

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It doesn’t matter where your school is in this country, we can guarantee you that inequities exist. Take a look at your data and classroom ...

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#EquityReads2017

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Racial tensions are a critical part of public discourse that cannot be ignored. Because schools are central to our communities, they can play an important role in ...

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How high school almost held me back

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On September 3, 1985, all that I believed about myself as a learner was shattered. It was my first day as a student at Bernard M. Baruch College. ...

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Using mentors to raise students’ expectations of themselves

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We recently shared the work that Principal Doris Lee of Village Academy in Queens has been doing with her staff to improve their relationships with ...

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Leading a trauma-sensitive school: Supporting our students in challenging times

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My first year as a principal in Cambridge, MA, I kept a pair of running shoes under my desk.  While I was known for the ...

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Teachers learn to see their students, and expect more of them

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It’s the million-dollar question: What can principals do in their schools to make sure all students, regardless of race, culture, background, are given opportunities to ...

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Celebrating the power of leaders

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I recently had the pleasure to spend a morning at the Bronx Little School, an elementary school in my hometown of the Bronx, where I ...

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Secret to my success: How I defied expectations and teach leaders to do the same

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I didn’t know I was supposed to be a failure until I was in college, and at that point it was too late for them ...

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Taking time to trouble whiteness

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You need to find in your heart that small spark of accountability.  What is there that I can do to make the world a better ...

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How to be an anti-racism school system leader

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“We live in an age in which silence is not only criminal but suicidal… for if they take you in the morning, they will be ...

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Building principal pipelines is worth the price – and might cost less than you think

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Over the last few weeks in Lexington, South Carolina, NYC Leadership Academy facilitators have been working with district staff and aspiring principals to talk about ...

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The Power of Leaders

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Anyone who works in education knows that great principals can have a significant impact on their students. Yet, in Washington right now, school leadership preparation ...

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Executive coaching can transform principals into system-level leaders

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As the school year winds down, this is a time of transition not only for students, but for some school leaders who are moving into ...

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Thoughtfully designing meetings for school leaders

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The end of the school year is quickly approaching, and for those who support school leaders, it's time to figure out what kind of professional ...

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Working together, researchers and practitioners can address education’s intractable challenges

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Tough questions come up every day in education: What do I need to do as a principal to compel my teachers to stick around for ...

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Teaching our kids to talk about race takes strong leadership

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"It’s okay to be uncomfortable, it’s okay to take risks. You have the power to do something about the injustice you see." I recently heard ...

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Washington Plays Critical Role in Improving School Leadership: An Open Letter to Secretary DeVos and Congress

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Dear Secretary DeVos, Sen. Blunt, Sen. Murray, Sen. Alexander, Rep. Cole, Rep. DeLauro, Rep. Foxx, and Rep. Scott, To transform schools, you need strong school ...

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Leading with courage, ensuring demography is not destiny

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A fellow principal once called me “brave” for accepting the call to lead a school in East San Jose, California. Not because of the academic ...

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Making every child visible

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No child deserves to be seen as a statistic, to be known simply for the color of her skin or her country of origin. At ...

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Talking About Race

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Much of coaching is about surfacing what might be difficult to take in or hard to say. To coach is often to voice feedback, observing ...

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#EquityReads2016

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From the presidential debate podiums to city streets across America, 2016 was a year of heated discussion and protest about race and culture and the ...

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The Self I Bring: Leading for Racial Equity is Personal

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My work in school leadership is personal. When I moved to the U.S. from Ghana at age 10, I came with messaging from my family ...

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Increasing the equity divide, one low expectation at a time

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District leaders, how are you ensuring that low expectations for student outcomes are not plaguing the school system and the stakeholders you are charged with ...

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No more missed opportunities

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I was presenting at a conference on NYCLA’s recent work around equity when, part way through my presentation, a woman raised her hand and said, ...

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School District Leaders – Say Something

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Your school leaders need to hear your voice. The results of our presidential election have created tension in communities across the country. There are likely ...

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Educational equity: Turning passion into action

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It is impossible to begin any dialogue today around racial equity without addressing the recent senseless mass shooting at Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, South ...

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Beyond diversity to equity and opportunity

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The events this year in Baltimore, New York City and Ferguson have strengthened my firm belief that schools are one of the most important places ...

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