Bending the Arc Toward Justice: Equity-Focused Practices for Educational Leaders
School districts are experiencing increasing economic, racial, ethnic, linguistic, gender and sexuality, cultural diversity across the United States and globally. With increasing diversity and persistent social inequities widening (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2019; U.S. Census Data, 2018), educational leaders face immense challenges and must actively work to build an equitable, healthy school climate. Educational leaders are critical for ensuring positive student outcomes and success, but often report feeling inadequately prepared for current challenges (Coalition for Teacher Equality, 2016; Jordan, 2012; Miller, 2013; Mitani, 2018; Papa, 2007). Unfortunately, growing challenges are contributing to high school administrator turnover rates and shortages (Gates et al., 2006; Jacob et al., 2015; Mordechay & Orfield, 2017) as well as perpetuating social inequities among preK-12 students instead of dismantling them (Beckett, 2018; Fuller, 2012; Manna, 2015; Rangel, 2018; Shankar-Brown, 2015). A research study by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) and the Learning Policy Institute (LPI) reveals that public schools with higher percentages of low-income students and students of color are more likely to experience administrative and teacher turnover, which compounds equity issues affecting already vulnerable students (Levin and Bradley, 2019).
This book provides educational leaders with a deeper understanding of equity-focused and inclusive leadership practices, while offering intersectional views on social inequalities and stark reminders of the work still ahead. Connecting theory to practice, this book offers needed encouragement and inspiration to both in-service and practicing educational leaders. Rooted in social justice and weaving together diverse voices, this edited volume systematically examines equity-focused PreK-12 and higher education leadership practices. Shankar-Brown (Ed.) calls on educational leaders to collectively rise and mindfully work together to bend the arc toward justice.
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