School Boards that Lead for Equity – Podcast Episode 166 | Classnotes Podcast 166

Dr. Bradley ScottClassnotes Podcast (September 19, 2016) In order for educational equity to take hold in a school, it is critical that it be in an environment where the district level governance structure provides leadership for systemic equity. A former superintendent in three school districts, Dr. Larry Leverett is executive director of Panasonic Foundation that supports efforts of school systems to improve academic and social outcomes for all students. In this episode, he describes how the Panasonic Foundation has shifted its focus to school board leadership in advancing system-wide equity strategies.

He is one of the authors of the journal that was published earlier this year, Essential Approaches for Excellence & Sustainable School System Transformation, that was developed by a group of experts who came together to pull together capacity-building approaches for school and system change. As he relates in this interview, Larry’s chapter, Systems Change & Governance: School Boards That Lead for Equity, outlines several actions boards should take.

Larry is interviewed by Bradley Scott, Ph.D., former director of the IDRA South Central Collaborative for Equity, who also contributed a chapter in the ECCBN journal.

Show length: 15:29

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Essential Approaches for Excellence & Sustainable School System Transformation
The Equity-Centered Capacity Building Network (ECCBN) journal addressing systems capacity building approaches that drive both equity and excellence

Panasonic Foundation Toolkit

“School Boards Come of Age with a 21st Century Vision,”
by Rosana G. Rodríguez, Ph.D., and Abelardo Villarreal, Ph.D., IDRA Newsletter, November-December 2013

“Tyranny of Old Ideas About School Board Responsibilities,”
by Abelardo Villarreal,Ph.D., and Rosana G. Rodríguez, Ph.D., IDRA Newsletter, June-July 2010

“A Guide for School Board Members to Assess District Effectiveness,”
by Abelardo Villarreal,Ph.D., and Rosana G. Rodríguez, Ph.D., IDRA Newsletter, June-July 2010

Courage to Connect: A Quality Schools Action Framework™
IDRA’s latest book shows how communities and schools can work together to strengthen their capacity to be successful with all of their students.

Six Goals of Education Equity
Every child in each school district, of any background, should have the chance to excel. Schools must ensure that all students are on track to graduate, prepared for college. To help schools and communities look together at these goals and create a plan of action, the IDRA South Central Collaborative for Equity has outlined Six Goals of Educational Equity that school personnel and communities can use as a yardstick to measure their progress and as a lightning rod to galvanize change.

Equal Access to a Quality Education
by Dr. María “Cuca” Robledo Montecel keynote, March 29, 2011

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Show Notes

  • Larry talks about the work and mission of the Panasonic Foundation, and its partnerships with school systems around educational equity.

  • Larry discusses how the foundation’s theory of action has changed over time.

  • Bradley references Larry’s ECCBN article on the 12 actions school boards should take in leading for equity, and asks Larry about the 3rd recommendation: “Demonstrate leadership, courage and the will to govern the district on behalf of the entire community.”

  • Larry argues why “it’s totally unacceptable to cop out and repeat this myth that some parents don’t want to be involved, [that] some communities don’t want to be involved.”

  • Larry explains how “policy clutter” can get in the way of boards staying focused on equity and excellence for all students.

  • Larry notes the need for boards’ high-quality educational stewardship and governance for wealthy and poor school districts alike.

  • Larry talks about ways that boards can dedicate themselves to improvement.