Students across the country, particularly the most vulnerable, deserve passionate and highly effective school leaders capable of transforming their educational experiences and outcomes. The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, in partnership with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the National Education Association (NEA), and the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans recently hosted a day of professional development opportunities for over 2,500 K-12 educators committed to better serving black and underserved communities.

Keisha Chandler, Associate Director of School Leadership Development, led a professional development session on Culturally Relevant Teaching and Stereotype Threats for approximately 400 participants. She and her peers from the Delta Teacher Efficacy Campaign shared methods to increase knowledge and broaden educators’ perspectives. The goal was to help them better understand who they are teaching so that they can meet all students’ needs.

The workshop helped participants to:

  1. Deepen attentiveness to attitudes, values, beliefs, stereotypes, experiences which may fuel teacher expectations and student experiences, and
  2. Explore culturally responsive leadership awareness and instructional strategies useful for meeting student needs

Additionally, Keisha emphasized the specific role of the school leader in creating conditions under which teachers build on rather than undermine students’ academic potential. Keisha urged participating school leaders to attend to the day-to-day interactions through which racial meaning is constructed; help teachers become cognizant of their critical role in shaping student outcomes; and directly challenge discourses that blame students and families for underachievement.

Keisha’s personal commitment to and professional experience in developing school leaders capable of achieving educational equity are infused in her work at NYCLA and we are proud to support her in sharing her expertise nationally.