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Thank you, leaders, for your courage, innovation, and leadership

As a school year of unprecedented uncertainty gets underway, I have been deeply moved by the courage and commitment we are seeing from education leaders across the ...

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Make schools safer for students of color

Immediate harm reduction. Comprehensive community safety and restorative justice. Resourcing healthy community practices. These actions are at the center of protesters’ cries for law enforcement reform across the country, as seen in ...

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I’m Not Okay

COVID-19 has increased racism and xenophobia towards the Asian-American community.   COVID-19 has ravaged Native American reservations.   COVID-19 has increased unemployment in the Latinx community.   COVID-19 ...

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In Latinos for Ed blog, CEO calls for combating AAPI hate

As with any pandemic, any crisis, fear is bringing out the worst in people.

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Professional learning cannot – and need not – stop in our remote world

In this piece we focus on a few moves we have found are essential for facilitating continuous professional learning for leaders in a virtual world. 

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Leading school systems through the aftershocks of Covid-19

As education leaders navigate their communities through one of the greatest crises in this nation’s history, it is crucial that they plan for what comes after.

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We will support your leadership through the COVID-19 crisis

Dear Friends and Colleagues, We are writing first to check in on your health, safety, and well-being. Over the last week, we have spoken with ...

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Coronavirus does not discriminate, and neither should we

As I write this, we all continue to determine how to respond to the coronavirus situation in ways that will best keep the people we ...

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An inside look at a comprehensive district-wide approach to leading for equity

Over the last two weeks, members of my team and I have taken a deep dive in two school systems we have been partnering with for some time – Des Moines, IA, and Lexington One, SC. It was a humbling and inspiring experience that I will not soon forget.

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#EquityReads 2019

At the NYC Leadership Academy, we are always looking to learn from other experts in education leadership and equity to inform and sharpen our work. That means we are ...

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Educational Inequities Quiz

What does the data tell us about what’s happening in schools today and has been happening across systems for decades? To help facilitate these conversations, we’ve developed this quiz on the race-based disproportionalities hampering schools and students across the U.S.

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Diversify ed leadership pipelines to transform student learning

Just as it is critical to bring together a diverse set of students to enhance learning, it is also imperative to recruit, retain, and properly develop and support a diverse pipeline of effective school and school system leaders.

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Indigenous School Leaders are Crucial for Undoing Centuries of Inequities

As someone who has spent years working with schools on South Dakota’s reservations, I believe that this kind of intentional, culturally responsive educational leadership is what we need to disrupt the inequities baked into the Indian education system.

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Seeing Others’ Humanity Builds Our Capacity as Leaders

Welcome back and congratulations on a new school year! I hope your summer had the right mix of professional learning, planning, and relaxation. While the ...

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Strategic equity-focused planning makes a difference for our students

Two years ago, the Chesterfield County School Board took on the work of developing a new strategic plan, Imagine Tomorrow, which revolved around our district’s core values of equity, ingenuity, integrity, and teamwork.

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NYC Leadership Academy calls on system leaders to protect and support immigrant students

As educational leaders, we cannot allow our students and their teachers to return to school frightened, or to be too afraid to return at all. Schools, under strong leadership, have a critical role to play in ensuring immigrant children have a safe haven in their schools.

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Every second of learning counts for our most vulnerable students

Young people in the juvenile justice system are the most underserved students in the country. When justice jurisdictions design systems, education is rarely top of mind.

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Expect pushback when leading for equity 

As more school districts engage in equity-focused professional learning, we are unsurprisingly seeing some tension and pushback as their teams grapple with this work.

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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 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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