1st Edition

Public School Equity Educational Leadership for Justice

By Manya Whitaker Copyright 2024
    286 Pages
    by Eye On Education

    Equality is not equity, tolerance is not inclusion, and access is not opportunity.

    Efforts to address inequities within our schools tend to ignore the underlying beliefs that sustain injustices, and focus instead on short-lived policies and practices. This book takes a different approach to eradicating educational disparities. Drawing on more than forty interviews with teachers, principals, and district leaders, Manya C. Whitaker offers educators guidance for leading a school or district grounded in social justice that centers teachers—not just teaching practices—and that focuses on the belief systems that shape decision-making.

    The chapters walk educational leaders through a strategic approach to long-term change: from school planning for family and community engagement, to hiring and onboarding teachers, to sustaining equity through multifaceted professional development and equitable evaluation. Concrete “how-to”s are provided throughout, along with reflection questions to help readers apply the content to their context. For any school or district leader intent on addressing the many inequities highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic, this book is an essential manual.

    Part I: Envisioning Equity

    1 School Planning for Equity

    2 Choosing an Organizational Structure Aligned With Your Leadership Style

    3 Embedding Equity Within Organizational Practices

    4 Developing School, Community, and Family Partnerships


    Part II: Staffing for Equity

    5 Limitations of Ethnic Matching and Multicultural Education

    6 Identifying Equity-Minded Teachers

    7 Welcoming New Teachers


    Part III: Sustaining Equity

    8 When Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) Aren't Enough

    9 Integrating Equity into Teacher Evaluation

    10 Improving Teacher Retention Through Career Advancement Opportunities

    11 Conducting Schoolwide Equity As Assessments

    Final Thoughts


    Manya Whitaker is an educational psychologist and associate professor and chair of education at Colorado College, where she directs the faculty development center. She also consults with families and K–20 educators on equity issues. Dr. Whitaker resides in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

    "Dr. Whitaker provides a road map that meets educational leaders, their teams, and staff where they are on their individual and collective journeys toward achieving educational equity."

    Aaron J. Griffen, Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, DSST Public Schools

    "Whitaker has constructed a powerhouse book that every leader in prekindergarten-12 schools should read. A resource about the intersectional nature of cognition and behavior, this book is transformative for the individual and the collective."

    H. Richard Milner IV, Cornelius Vanderbilt Distinguished Professor of Education, author of Start Where You Are but Don’t Stay There

    "With this valuable book, Manya Whitaker illuminates the often deliberate and sometimes inadvertent violations of equity, and provides a handbook for creative and courageous resistance."

    William Ayers, author of To Teach and About Becoming a Teacher