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The racially responsive facilitator 

Every day, a student of color experiences micro-aggressions, subtle and not-so-subtle interactions with classmates or teachers that tell them that they are not smart enough ...

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Returning home to lead a school

We need to love these kids unconditionally and hold them to high expectations because I know they can do it. We just need to give them the tools.

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How one Virginia district is developing principal supervisors to transform schools

We took a deep look at the role of our principal supervisors. Over two years, we overhauled that role and created a principal coaching and mentoring program that is starting to show results in our schools. Here’s how we did it.

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How we can shape instruction that taps into the genius within our youth

Growing up, I was lucky to go to a high school that in many ways was culturally attuned to my classmates and me. About 80% ...

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An international movement calls for greater investment in school leaders

While schools in Nairobi face different challenges from schools in Hong Kong or India or the U.S., there is increasing agreement across contexts that to transform schools, you need great school leaders.

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A call to facilitators: Learn as you lead

I recently facilitated a professional learning session for more than a dozen district leaders in the Midwest aimed at pushing them to think about implicit ...

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#HowILeadForEquity: Share your stories

We must continue to push this work forward. Our young people are counting on us. Together, our leadership has the potential to exponentially decrease the number of inequities facing our students.

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Uncomfortable by design: Learning and leading with the support of a coach

We take leaders to the point of discomfort so they can ultimately come out more confident, capable, and conscious of their capacity to make change effectively. Discomfort, in service of equity for all students, can be a catalyst for learning and transformation.

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EquityReads 2018

Talking with a teacher about whom she is -- and is not -- calling on in class. Discussing the fact that some groups of students ...

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Teach young people to celebrate differences, not fear them

Fear is born from ignorance. The string of hateful acts across the country over the last several weeks and months has been overwhelming: Eleven people ...

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The answer is in the room

The answer is in the room. Growing up in East San Jose, CA, it was rare to hear someone say those words in a classroom, ...

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Setting goals that target inequities

By the end of the summer, we graduated several more of our male students. The mere awareness of the graduation gender gap had produced a different sense of urgency in my staff and in myself.

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El Ascensor: A tribute to CEO Irma Zardoya

Leaders like Irma show other women of color that it is possible, that we can be true to our identities while developing and expanding mission-driven organizations that support our communities.

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Learning how to develop lead learners: Lessons from our first 15 years

Fifteen years ago, many of New York City’s schools were struggling with rapid principal turnover. On top of that, the city was expecting to lose half of its principals to retirement in the next few years, creating a system of potentially “leaderless” schools. The NYC Leadership Academy launched in 2003 to fill this gap…

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Let’s lead

On June 20, I had the honor of being a keynote speaker at the Hillsborough County Public Schools’ Leadership Learning Tour. I spoke to a room full of principals and district leaders about four questions critical to educational leadership…

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The secret to a strong plan: Making it doable

“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 of years ago. In schools, good planning articulates a vision for student success. Throughout my career as an educator, I have engaged in strategic planning.

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Leaders must be allies for undocumented students

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 people stayed home from school. For many, they thought they would be safer at home than in school.

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

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 should dedicate a staff meeting to discussing their experiences; provide cultural proficiency training to the entire staff; or reach out to parents for help.

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CEO Irma Zardoya on the National School Walkout

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

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Don’t let fear interfere with equity

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 an educational leader.

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Keeping schools calm and carrying on despite threats

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 typical 10 a day to more than 70 a day.

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

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 not possible for anyone to learn the long, painful, complicated, beautiful, resilient and magical history of being Black in the United States in 28 days.

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Every school system needs an equity guardian

Intentionality. Without it, you’ll never make sure every child has access to the resources they need to learn and grow. It is what drives my position as Executive Director of Equity and Access for the Newburgh Enlarged City School District in New York State.

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Equity takes time, and a leadership pipeline

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 practices – are there an equitable number of children of color in your honors and AP classes, do they have access to your best teachers? Who has been identified for special education?

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#EquityReads2017

At the NYC Leadership Academy, we continuously seek to improve our work by learning from the experiences and insights of others. #EquityReads 2017 offers a list of some of the books, articles, speeches, and films about racial equity that our staff members found compelling and useful in our work in 2017.

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How high school almost held me back

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“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

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

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

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

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

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

"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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