The Leadership Academy has been selected by The Wallace Foundation to support eight large school districts in conducting equity-focused reviews of district leadership policies and practices. This effort is part of a five-year, $102 million initiative to support the districts in exploring how to build comprehensive, aligned principal pipelines that can produce school leaders capable of advancing their own district’s vision of equity.

Over the next several months, The Leadership Academy, in partnership with Bank Street College of Education and Bank Street Education Center, will support the districts in reviewing the alignment of current district leadership policies and practices with the definition of equity developed by each district.

This work is a first step in the Equity-Centered Pipeline Initiative, in which districts will form District Partnership Teams with local community organizations, two university leader preparation programs, and the state education agency, to develop their own, local definition of equity and define what an equity-centered leader needs to know and be able to do. Each District Partnership Team will then design a comprehensive, aligned equity-centered pipeline that translates each district’s vision into reality, provide mentoring and training for current principals and assistant principals, and engage in continuous improvement. A set of independent research studies will seek to learn from this work in order to generate useful insights for other districts around the country.

Each district in the initiative was selected through a rigorous, competitive process and has at least five high-needs high schools and more than 48,000 students. Each district also has provided evidence of strong support for the effort from local stakeholders, university partners, and the relevant state education agency.

The eight district partnership teams are:

  • Baltimore City Public Schools, Maryland (with local groups, Morgan State University, Towson University, and the Maryland State Department of Education)
  • Columbus City, Ohio (with local groups, Ashland University, Ohio State University, and the Ohio Department of Education)
  • District of Columbia Public Schools, District of Columbia (with local groups, Howard University, George Washington University)
  • Fresno Unified School District, California (with local groups, San Diego State University, National University, and the California Department of Education)
  • Jefferson County School District, Kentucky (with local groups, Spalding University, University of Louisville, and the Kentucky Department of Education)
  • Portland Public Schools, Oregon (with local groups, Portland State University, Lewis and Clark College, and the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission)
  • San Antonio Independent School District, Texas (with local groups, University of Texas, Austin, University of Texas, San Antonio, and the Texas Education Agency)
  • Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, North Carolina (with local groups, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Appalachian State University, and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction)

“To build effective equity-centered leadership pipelines, school systems first need to assess where they are and what their needs are,” The Leadership Academy President & CEO Nancy Gutierrez said. “The district teams’ equity reviews will be a crucial step in advancing the district’s plans, helping them meet their individual needs. We are honored to be part of this project that will not only support these eight districts in developing their equity-focused practices and policies but that will provide systems across the country with research and tools to do so as well.”

Learn more about the initiative.