Leadership Insight

Category: Equity

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 N...

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 to make me fail. As a lifelong educator, my mission has been to shield children from the dirty secret that poor children of color, children like I was, are not expected to succeed...

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

Tough questions come up every day in education. Last week we had the privilege to spend a few days among some of the best minds in education – researchers, who convened for the 2017 American Educational Research Association convention. While their work is ...

Teaching our kids to talk about race takes strong leadership

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 statements like this in two very different ends of our education system. First, two NYC Leadership Academy coaches facilitated discuss...

Leading with courage, ensuring demography is not destiny

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 challenges that existed but because, in her words, it was a “scary” place. This primarily Mexican-American school community was locat...

Making Every Child Visible

Making Every Child Visible

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 the NYC Leadership Academy, we believe that every one of our students needs educators who know and honor them for all of their complexities and individualities.

Talking About Race

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 behaviors, calling them out, and working with leaders to explore the impact that their decisions, their actions, and their words, have on others. I often describe ...

The Self I Bring: Leading for Racial Equity is Personal

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 and community that nothing was impossible for me. The adults in my life -- my village -- believed in me, had high expectations for me.

Increasing the Equity Divide, One Low Expectation at a Time

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 leading?

No More Missed Opportunities

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, “As a white woman, when you use the term ‘social justice,’ that gives me an out to not talk about race.”

School District Leaders - Say Something

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 a variety of opinions among your school leaders, among your teachers, among your students, and among your families—even in places yo...

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