On Leadership

Using Advanced Placement as a lever for social justice

Encouraging and allowing students to enroll in rigorous courses is a critical first step in providing more equity in high schools.  The former school superintendent of Hartford, Conn., Beth Schiavino-Narvaez, once told me that “the public education system is the great sorting mechanism for American society.” I use that line often, as it succinctly conveys …
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  • To lead for equity, learn how the system works

    It’s not enough to be passionate about social justice. School leaders can’t make positive change unless they know how school systems really work.

  • Organizing for adaptive change management

    If schools are going to adapt and improve in meaningful ways, then central office leaders must lead the way by being facilitators, funders, advisers, evaluators, and quality assurance agents.

  • The talent narrative

    Leaders can change the narrative about teaching at-risk kids through their deliberate words and actions.

  • Spending dollars to make a difference

    Make a stronger case for greater resources by first doing a deep dive on how you’re using resources already on hand.

  • Content is king

    Every school and district express their values through the content that students learn; leaders shape that content through policies, contracts, and regulations.

  • Values: Why do we believe what we believe? 

    Leaders must have language that drives their actions; that begins with identifying their personal core values and those of their district.

  • Lead with transparency and integrity

    Being clear about who makes various decisions and enacting those decisions with integrity is key to effective leadership.

  • Strategic thinking about change

    Strategies must be ever evolving in service of the changes they’re intended to support.