Anti-Racist School Leadership

Toward Equity in Education for America’s Students Introduction

Edited by:
Jeffrey S. Brooks, University of Idaho
Noelle Witherspoon-Arnold, University of Missouri-Columbia

A volume in the series: Educational Leadership for Social Justice. Editor(s): Jeffrey S. Brooks, Curtin University. Denise E. Armstrong, Brock University. Ira Bogotch, Florida Atlantic University. Sandra Harris, Lamar University. Whitney Sherman Newcomb, Virginia Commonwealth University. George Theoharis, Syracuse University.

Published 2013

Since the passing of Brown versus Board of Education to the election of the first Black president of the United States, there has been much discussion on how far we have come as a nation on issues of race. Some continue to assert that Barack Obama’s election ushered in a new era—making the US a post-racial society. But this argument is either a political contrivance, borne of ignorance or a bold-faced lie. There is no recent data on school inequities, or inequity in society for that matter, that suggests we have arrived at Dr. King’s dream that his “four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Children today are instead still judged by the color of their skin, and this inequitable practice is manifest in today’s schools for students of color in the form of: disproportionate student discipline referrals, achievement and opportunity gaps, pushout rates, overrepresentation in special education and underrepresentation in advanced coursework, among other indicators (Brooks, 2012). Though issues of race in the public education system may take an overt or covert form; racial injustice in public schools is still pervasive, complex and cumulative. For example, many students of color, year after year, do not have access to “good” teachers, experience low staff expectations, and are subject to “new and improved” forms of tracking (Brooks, Arnold & Brooks, in press).

The authors in this book explore various ways that racism are manifest in the American school system. Through a plurality of perspectives, they deconstruct, challenge and reconstruct an educational leadership committed to equity and excellence for marginalized students and educators.

Acknowledgments. Introduction—Antiracist School Leadership: Toward Equity in Education for America’s Students, Noelle Witherspoon Arnold and Jeffrey S. Brooks. White Principals and Race-Conscious Leadership, George Theoharis and Marcelle Haddix. Race and Racial Discrimination in Schools: School Leaders’ Courageous Conversations, Gaetane Jean-Marie and Katherine Mansfield. Providing Space to Talk About Race in the Elementary Reading Classroom: Instructional Leadership for Social Justice, Liz Hollingworth. Latino/a Educational Leaders: Racial-Identity and the Promotion of Leadership for Social Justice, Elizabeth Murakami-Ramalho and Frank Hernandez. Equity in Education: Using Invitational Theory to Assess Students’ Perspectives of the School Environment, Molly Killingsworth. A Practical and Hope-filled Tool to Address the “Achievement Gap”, María L. Gabriel. The Cultural Divide: Connecting Working-Class and Ethnic-Minority Students and Families to Schools, Mark Anderson. Unspoken Realities: White, Female Teachers Discuss Race, Students, and Achievement in the Context of Teaching in a Majority Black Elementary School, Joy K. Williams. The Assistant Principal’s Duties, Training, and Challenges: From Color-Blind to a Critical Race Perspective, Lisa Nieuwenhuizen, Ph.D. and Jeffrey S. Brooks. About the Authors.