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Standard 4: Equity, Diversity, and Access

The professional leadership preparation program provides each candidate with an opportunity to examine and reflect upon principles of educational equity and diversity and their implementation in school sites, including access to curriculum content and school practices for all students, teachers, staff, parents or caregivers and community members. The program prepares candidates to provide all students and their parents and guardians equitable access to the school, including the curriculum and other programmatic supports in the school. Through coursework and fieldwork, candidates examine their personal attitudes toward race, gender and socio-economic status; learn about ways to examine and confront issues around race, equity and diversity; and take leadership roles in discussions about equity, diversity and access. The program prepares candidates to facilitate and lead stakeholders to provide equitable access to the core curriculum and the school community. The program provides opportunities for candidates to learn how to maximize academic achievement for students for all ethnic, race, socioeconomic, cultural, academic, linguistic or family backgrounds; gender, gender identity and sexual orientation; students with disabilities and advanced learners; and students with a combination of special instructional needs. The program includes a series of planned experiences in which candidates learn to identify, analyze and minimize personal and institutional bias.

Program Planning Prompts:

The program design includes the study and discussion of the historical and cultural traditions of the major racial, religious and ethnic groups in California society and an examination of effective ways to include cultural traditions and community values in the school curriculum and school activities.

The program design is explicit in developing each candidate’s ability to recognize historical and philosophical forces that have given rise to institutional practices, such as systemic forms of racism and sexism, that serve to limit students’ access to academic and social success and to create a safe and equitable school setting that establishes and contributes to the physical, social, emotional and intellectual safety of the diverse constituencies of the extended school community.

The seemingly incredible diversity of the students in our schools in the Central Valley certainly provides a learning laboratory for candidates in the Educational Leadership and Administration Program. From the two beginning courses in the program, candidates are exposed to and participate in discussions and activities centered on the diversity of our students; the need for equity for all students; and “elephant in the room” topics, including latent racism and lowered expectations for students of color, those from different cultures, or those with different learning styles or needs. For example, in EAD 261 Introduction to Education Administration, candidates write a paper addressing questions regarding their own attitudes toward persons of different races, socio-economic status, cultures, religions and ethnic backgrounds as well as their attitudes toward sexual orientation and individuals with disabilities and how these attitudes and actions support or diminish the goal to ensure that all students receive equitable access to education (261 Signature Assignment 2)

EAD 272 requires students to gather and utilize data to inform instruction and guide lesson planning. Protocols are introduced to help the candidate learn to observe and understand the teaching and learning environment in our diverse valley (272 Signature Assignment 2, 272 Embedded Fieldwork Assignment 2 and 272 Signature Assignment 3).

As mentioned earlier, the cultural richness of the Central Valley provides many opportunities to examine the diverse cultures and their many contributions. In EAD 261 Introduction to Education Administration, candidates are involved in discussions focusing on issues of equity, how our society arrived where it is and how we must make changes to move to a truly equitable educational system. Candidates are given reflective activities in which to examine their own views, attitudes and expectations. They are also provided with access to research, notably that of the Education Trust, which has demonstrated that all students and all schools can succeed when expectations for success are in place, along with appropriate instruction (261 Signature Assignment 2). Specifically, in EAD 261 Introduction to Education Administration candidates will identify the means to shape a school culture where high expectations for all students and for all subgroups of students is the core purpose. In the same course, the candidate will identify barriers to accomplishing an organizational vision and will present a plan to overcome the major barriers and in which promotes equity, fairness, and respect among all members of the school community (261 Signature Assignment 5).

In EAD 262 Educational Leadership, a course taken in the second semester of the program, candidates refine their reflections from the first semester through various activities, discussions, and readings and participate in a thorough 360 degree assessment of their own leadership potential (262 Signature Assignment 1a and1b). Candidates present to their cohort members on aspects of leadership, especially with regard to building a school vision; communicating to inspire action, problem solving and conflict resolution, team building, using distributive leadership, and collaborating with all school-site staff to build the cultural proficiency of all staff members (262 Signature Assignment 2). Candidates must also utilize a 12-step decision-making process for a relevant school issue and must also present (using PowerPoint) to the class (262 Signature Assignment 3a and 3b).Current case studies and leadership activities are an integral part of this course.

All courses contain elements related to the diversity that candidates will encounter as leaders, but a new course has been designed to ensure deeper learning. EAD 274 Instructional Systems and Leadership for Equity helps candidates learn to build systems that support equity. This course has a number of activities that help candidates learn about and form views about diversity. One activity, for example, involves the school administrator shadowing a minority student for a day to learn about the learning that this student encounters (274 Signature Assignment 3). Candidates will also examine the school site Tier 1, 2, and 3 responses to intervention and develop desired outcomes and next steps (274 Signature Assignment 1) and will conduct an equity audit utilizing data from the school site (274 Signature Assignment 2).

In ERA 288 Measurement and Program Evaluation, candidates will locate and disaggregate school data into subgroups for three different sites and prepare a statement about the achievement needs encountered (288 Signature Assignment 1).

The program is designed to develop each candidate’s capacity to recognize students’ specific learning needs; develop policy and practices at the school site to ascertain student needs and place students in appropriate learning contexts; collaborate with teachers in developing instructional practices that guarantee full access to the curriculum; and identify and provide resources for all students to have full access to the curriculum and opportunities to engage in extracurricular and co-curricular activities.

From the very first semester, students’ individual learning needs are addressed and this continues as a key theme throughout the program. In the first semester in EAD 261 Introduction to Education Administration, ongoing discussions and activities take place about equity and serving the needs of all students (261 Signature Assignment 1and 5). Students must write a paper about how they will address such needs as administrators. In EAD 272 Seminar in Advanced Curriculum Development and Evaluation, students will spend the entire semester understanding how curricular and instructional decisions affect individual learning needs and will learn how to develop instructional practices that guarantee full access to the curriculum. In addition, culturally responsive instruction is identified and studied throughout this course. Three assignments are particularly designed with this standard in mind: Create an academic scrapbook for one grade level of English Language Arts Content Standards (272 Signature Assignment 1), perform a classroom learning walk to gather data about curriculum and instruction at the site (272 Signature Assignment 2 and Embedded Fieldwork Assignment 2), and Interview a site leader interview regarding guaranteed and viable curriculum (272 Embedded Fieldwork Assignment 1).

In ERA 288 Measurement and Program Evaluation, candidates learn to evaluate different programs and instructional strategies, and are introduced to ways to develop a best match for individual student needs. In one activity, candidates compare and analyze data from 3 schools to determine learning needs (288 Signature Assignment 1). In EAD 274 Instructional Systems and Leadership for Equity, the primary focus is on bringing all systems resources to bear in providing an equitable learning environment, including carrying out an equity audit (274 Signature Assignment 2). In EAD 263 Seminar in Instructional Supervision, candidates regularly revisit the values of collaborating with others, especially with regard to developing instructional practices that provide access for all learners (263 Signature Assignment 1). EAD 269 Site-Based Leadership, the final course in the program, explores the use of resources for the school program, including extracurricular and co-curricular activities (269 Signature Assignment 4).

The program is designed to develop each candidate’s understanding of the legal and financial implications of serving a diverse student population.

EAD 269 Site-Based Leadership provides candidates with a working understanding of the legal and financial implications of serving students with special needs and for sound school leadership and management. During this course, candidates not only are presented with the legal and financial implications through texts, articles, presentations, and case studies, but also participate in simulation activities focused on adequately serving diverse students (269 Signature Assignment 3 and 4).

The program is designed to provide each candidate with an opportunity to (1) learn about federal, state and local laws, policies and practices that ensure appropriate accommodations for a diverse student population and (2) understand the role of the site administrator in monitoring and implementing legal and fiscal provisions.

EAD 269 Site-Based Leadership provides a broad background of the legal and fiscal provisions, especially with regard to ensuring appropriate accommodations for diverse student populations. The major thrust of the course is to bring together the major learnings of the previous courses and use that knowledge together with new understandings of legal and financial processes in a culminating exercise at the end of the course and program of developing a school plan to most effectively use all resources to maximize student learning (269 Signature Assignment 4).

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