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Aligned to each of the LEAD Tool’s equitable practices, these resources provide background reading—or “homework”—that can provide team members the contextual knowledge needed to get the most out of LEAD Tool discussions.


Engaging in self-reflection and growth for equity

A Hidden History

This article by Walida Imarisha begins by questioning why there aren’t more black people in Oregon, then explores the discomforting history of white supremacy in the state. You can also view a video presentation of this topic.

I, Racist

Following the Charleston church shootings in June 2015, John Metta writes in the Huffington Post about why he can no longer talk to white people about race and the state of racism in the 21st century.

Detour Spotting for White Anti-Racists

This essay by jona olsson examines behaviors taken by well-intended white people and offers a tool to look at unintentional racism. The author argues that unless we can identify our racist patterns of thought and behavior, we can never interrupt them.

Constructing and enacting an equity vision

Constructing a Racial Equity Theory of Change: A Practical Guide for Designing Strategies to Close Chronic Racial Outcome Gaps

This resources from the the Aspen Institute Roundtable on Community Change provides an analysis of social structures that support racism and outlines five steps that groups can take to promote racial equity.

Leading for Equity: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Montgomery County Public Schools

This book tells the compelling story of Montgomery County (Maryland) Public Schools (MCPS) and the district’s transformation—in less than a decade—into a system committed to breaking the links between race and class and academic achievement.

Developing organizational leadership for equity

How a Great Leader Motivates

In this YouTube video, Pedro Noguera speaks on the topic of what motivational leadership looks like when it’s done well with a story story of a school principal with exemplary motivational skills.

An Open Letter to Teachers Seeking Balance

This letter by Jeff Duncan-Andrade argues that we should adopt a collective approach to notions of success and suffering. This solidarity is the essential ingredient for racial healing, an often overlooked factor for balance in our lives and for improving achievement in our schools.

Disrupting Injustice: Principals Narrate the Strategies They Use To Improve Their Schools and Advance Social Justice

This article by George Theoharis focuses on six principals who saw injustice being perpetuated for diverse students and worked to change that reality. The principals describe the strategies they used to improve their schools and advance social justice.

Growing Roses in Concrete, Jeff Duncan-Andrade, TEDx Talks

The California educator talks about recognizing the tenacity and will of urban youth, whom he compares to roses breaking through the concrete.

Modeling ethical and equitable behavior

Educational Equity is a Human Right

This article, with examples drawn from LGBT issues, focuses on how teachers can make a difference in reducing bigotry by modeling ethical behavior and including inclusive elements in their curriculum.

A Framework for the Assessment of Learning-Centered Leadership

This Vanderbilt University report presents a model of education leadership assessment and behaviors. The authors discuss how their focus on leadership behaviors fits within a larger context of leadership assessment, school performance, and student success.

The Practice of Leading and Managing: The Distribution of Responsibility for Leadership and Management in the Schoolhouse

This paper looks at the research around distributed shared leadership and management in schools and find that it is not uncommon for responsibilities to be shared among many people.

Allocating Resources

How is Equity In Resource Allocation Related to Student Performance

This article describes how high-performing countries and economies tend to allocate resources more equitably across socio-economically advantaged and disadvantaged schools.

Allocating Resources for Equity

This resource documents successful school leadership practices that help struggling students, featuring case studies of principals who have raised academic achievement in their schools.

Exploring the Politics of Differential Resource Allocation: Implications for Policy Design and Leadership Practice

Based on a two-year study of how district leaders invest staffing resources to promote equity-focused improvements in student learning, this paper explores political dimensions of the policy design and implementation process.

Fostering an equitable school culture

What Discipline is For: Connecting Students to the Benefits of Learning

Pedro Noguera looks at the root causes of discipline disparities and offers a set of recommendations to reduce exclusionary discipline practices.

Guiding Principles: A Resource Guide for Improving School Climate and Discipline

U.S. Department of Education guidance document that draws from emerging research and best practices to describe key principles and related steps that can help guide state- and locally controlled efforts to improve school climate and school discipline.

A School Culture of Equity

In this book chapter, Curtis Linton describes what a culture of equity looks like in a school then offers four examples of schools that are making equity a reality.

Discipline Disparities: Implications for School Practice and Policy

In this Principal’s Research Review article written by Education Northwest’s Vicki Nishioka and Rhonda Barton, the authors survey research around discipline disparities and offer principals a set of actionable recommendations.

Collaborating with families and communities

Beyond the Bake Sale: A Community-Based Relational Approach to Parent Engagement in Schools

This article presents an approach to fostering parent engagement in schools, suggesting that community-based organizations can build relational bridges between educators and parents and act as catalysts for change.

National Family and Community Engagement Framework Toolkit

A slide deck that covers the program goals, challenges, and benefits of working to increase family and community involvement.

Influencing the sociopolitical context

For Each and Every Child: A Strategy for Education Equity And Excellence

This Equity and Excellence Commission report summarizes how America’s K-12 education system does not distribute opportunity equitably and provides a five-part framework of tightly interrelated recommendations to guide policymaking.

A Critical Review of Race and Ethnicity in the Leadership

Literature: Surfacing Context, Power and the Collective Dimensions of Leadership

This framework looks at the effects of race/ethnicity on perceptions of leadership, the effects of race/ethnicity on leadership enactments, and actors' approach to the social reality of race/ethnicity.

Changing the Discourse in Schools

A book chapter by Eugene Eubanks, Ralph Parish, and Dianne Smith suggesting that if schools are to transform, they must eliminate long-term unequal social arrangements and change the current dominant discourse.

Hiring and placing personnel

Preparing Future Leaders for Social Justice, Equity, and

Excellence: Bridging Theory and Practice Through a Transformative Andragogy

The purpose of this book is to help professors train social justice leaders through adult learning strategies aimed at principals who then apply those techniques with their own faculty, staff, and parent groups.

Recruiting Minority Teachers

The author examines the reasons why we need a diverse teaching force and the impact of the Teach for America program in the recruitment of minority teachers.

Supervising for improvement of equitable instruction

Culturally Responsive Teaching Matters!

This resource from the Equity Alliance provides an overview of what culturally responsive teaching means and a set of strategies to help shape practice.

Leadership for Equity

A Principal's Research Review article by Education Northwest's Rhonda Barton and Rob Larson, this brief suggests steps educational leaders can take to authentically and successfully confront the situations in schools that cause inequities.

Making the Most of Instructional Rounds

A background piece, this text shows how a culture of collaboration can improve teacher practice and promote equity.

Peer Reviewed Research and Articles on the LEAD Tool

Equitable leadership on the ground: Converging on high-leverage practices

What would leadership standards look like if developed through a lens and language of equity? The authors engaged with a group of 40 researchers, practitioners, and community leaders recognized as having expertise on equity in education to address this question. Using a Delphi technique, an approach designed to elicit expert feedback and measure convergence around a question of interest, these leaders participated in three rounds of data gathering. In Rounds One and Two, the 40 participants described and then rated leadership practices they believed to be most likely to mitigate race, class, and other group-based disparities between dominant and nondominant students. In Round Three, 14 of these experts participated in focus group sessions, using the findings from the first two rounds to ultimately converge around 10 high-leverage leadership practices for equity. Findings highlight the importance of leadership centered on countering systemic and structural barriers that maintain disparities, with implications for leadership preparation, policy, and tools to support organizational leadership for equity.

Galloway, M.K., & Ishimaru, A.M. (2017). Equitable leadership on the ground: Converging on high-leverage practices. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 25(2).

When aspirations exceed actions: Educational leaders’ descriptions of educational equity

The authors use a set of “leadership for equity” rubrics to examine how 114 school and district leaders rated and provided evidence of equitable or inequitable practices related to visionary leadership and instructional improvement (two core responsibilities of leadership as identified by the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium’s standards). The rubrics define equitable leadership along a continuum from unsatisfactory to exemplary, with a rating of proficient requiring evidence of action and change in policies and practices designed to produce equitable outcomes. Although leaders tended to rate themselves as proficient or above on the rubrics, their ratings were more favorable than what their supporting evidence warranted. The authors use this misalignment between participants’ espoused and enacted behaviors to (a) discuss the need to better define key concepts in social justice leadership theory and practice and (b) highlight how leadership development and professional growth tools can counter rather than maintain status quo leadership practice.

Galloway, M. K., Ishimaru, A., M., & Larson, R. (2015). When aspirations exceed actions: Educational leaders’ descriptions of educational equity. Journal of School Leadership, 25(5), 838–875.

Radical recentering: Equity in educational leadership standards

The widely adopted Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium standards are designed to guide the preparation and professional development of educational leaders. However, the standards’ limited mention of race, class, ethnicity, ability, gender, sexuality, or other marginalized identities suggests that addressing persistent inequities need not be a central concern of preparation programs and leaders in pre-K–12 schools. In this article, the authors put forth a new set of standards with equity at the core. The authors discuss why equity-centered standards are needed and what implications these standards have for practice. The authors offer 10 high-leverage equitable leadership practices, identified through research and the extant literature as those most likely to mitigate disparities for students who have not been well served due to their race, class, ethnicity, home language, and/or ability. The authors also discuss how a set of equity-focused leadership standards would facilitate radical changes in leadership preparation programs, professional development, and evaluation.

Galloway, M. K., & Ishimaru, A. M. (2015). Radical recentering: Equity in educational leadership standards. Educational Administration Quarterly, 51(3), 372–408.

Lessons on leading for equity

This article provides an overview of equity-centered leadership strategies. Equitable education begins with district and school leaders educating themselves about racial and cultural biases. The authors discuss the difference between equality and equity and how to use disaggregated data to support decision making.

Larson, R., & Barton, R. (2013). Lessons on leading for equity. Principal Leadership, 13, 18–24.

At the crossroads of standards and equity: Merging practice and theory to create the Leadership for Equity Assessment & Development (LEAD) Tool

This paper describes one state’s efforts to design and validate a professional growth and assessment tool (the Leadership for Equity Assessment) to measure leadership for equity. Merging theory with practitioner language, the tool describes equitable leadership behaviors in each of the Oregon administrative licensure standards along a continuum from unsatisfactory to exemplary. The authors developed and refined the tool through three iterative phases: 1 development and initial refinement, small-scale piloting and focus groups, and an Oregon Leadership Network Institute sorting and alignment study. Revisions after each phase resulted in an online guided self-assessment tool that represents a promising instrument for measuring and supporting the development of educational leaders’ equitable practice.

Ishimaru, A., Galloway, M., Larson, R., & Carr, C. (2012, April). At the crossroads of standards and equity: Merging practice and theory to create the Leadership for Equity Assessment & Development (LEAD) Tool. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Vancouver, BC.

Got equity? Educational leaders’ descriptions of enacting equitable practices

In this study, the researchers used the Leadership for Equity & Assessment (LEAD) Tool to examine how educational leaders rate themselves on two rubrics designed to measure leadership behaviors for equity and to understand how educational leaders describe the kinds of equitable (or inequitable) practices they use in their day-to-day work. Through a survey of 114 administrators, the study found a misalignment overall between the evidence provided by educational leaders and the ratings they selected to describe their practices for equity using the LEAD tool.

Galloway, M., Ishimaru, A., Larson, R., & Carr, C. (2011, August). Got equity? Educational leaders’ descriptions of enacting equitable practices. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Council of Professors of Educational Administration, Portland, OR.