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Challenging Traditional School Leader Pathways and PD: Growing and Sustaining Equity-Centered Leaders

Katie Culver, Brandon Cummings, Lauren Miller, Michael Farrell — School District of Philadelphia

In this session, participants will experience an innovative approach to cultivating equity-centered leadership in a large, urban school district, starting with a leadership development team that explicitly commits to, practices and critiques their own actions regarding operating through the lens of equity, and aspires to model this in how we offer opportunities and professional learning. Additionally, we will discuss the three flagship programs that demonstrate our commitment to a more inclusive approach regarding 1.) offering more equitable opportunities to enter the leadership pathway, 2.) engaging in authentic equity-centered and social-justice minded leadership coaching, and 3.) designing and co-facilitating with current Equity Leaders, to present more applicable, engaging Professional Learning that recognizes the unique, multifaceted and multilayered stressors and challenges of school leaders in a large, urban district.

Conversational Practice

In this session, we aim to engage the audience around these three programs. For each program, leads and co-leads of our office will open with an overview of our progress in this area, followed by a series of discussion questions and activities to invite the audience into the conversation and solicit ideas for deepening the scope and impact of our work. Additionally, We need to be able to evaluate the impact of all three learning pathways in terms of how they might be sustaining our leaders differently based on their identities and trajectories, and how leaders are reimagining their practices to influence more equitable outcomes for their students. We hope that the session participants will help us brainstorm creative evaluation strategies and participate in an enlightening discussion regarding what is working and alternative considerations to our process and offerings.

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