This book is for education leaders who do not accept the that the underachievement of African American, Latino, Indigenous, low income and other vulnerable student groups is inevitable. Where Equity Lives: Shattering Systemic Inequity in Schools and Districts is the result of 25 years of studying over 300 schools and districts struggling to overturn the longstanding pattern of under achievement of the same demographic groups. This book is a reveal of the five most common systemic inequity traps identified through the Study of Studies that help explain historic achievement patterns. The authors lay out achievable paths of possibilities for education leaders to reverse decades of under achievement. Actionable insights are shared through real-life stories of schools and districts that struggled with and took action to address each of these traps. Chapters contain equity hooks—easy to remember cues of complete, complex, and nuanced leadership takeaways. Online templates are available for teams of leaders to apply the guidance from each chapter to your school system so that vulnerable students arrive at the spot where equity lives, that magnificent place where demographics no longer predict achievement.
Robin Avelar La Salle earned her Ph.D. in education from Stanford University and is the Founder and President; a technical assistance organization with a 25 years history partnering with schools and districts that serve historically lower achieving. Her career as an “equity warrior” is captured in her 2018 book, “Shattering Inequities: Real World Wisdom for School and District Leaders,” written with Ruth S. Johnson.
Ruth Johnson, is a nationally known expert in the use of data to promote equity. She is the author of several books including ''Data Strategies to Uncover and Eliminate Hidden Inequities: The Wallpaper Effect'' (with co-author Dr. Avelar La Salle), and ''Using Data to Close the Achievement Gap,'' a bestselling book published by Corwin Press.
Forward by Michael Fullan
Part I: What’s the Floor?
Chapter 1: Symbolic Data Systems
Equity Hook: The Emperor’s New Clothes
Chapter 2: Baby Step Planning
Equity Hook: Backcast, Don’t Forecast
Part II: Under What Conditions?
Chapter 3: New Tracking
Equity Hook: A Rose by Any Other Name
Chapter 4: Christmas Tree School Systems
Equity Hook: The Thing of the Thing
Part III: How Aligned are YOU?
Chapter 5: Misaligned Leadership
Equity Hook: Equity Leadership Columns
Conclusion: How to Change Minds and Hearts
Appendix: Study of Studies Methodology
About the Authors
"This is a must read for any educational leader who wants to understand how equity becomes action. The practical aspects of this 'study of studies' will enable readers to have key takeaways to improve their own equity journey in improving education systems for all students. This is an invaluable resource that will help support those working to change the inequities that have historically marginalized some students in our school systems for generations."
"Too often our education system is looking for a quick fix to a deep rooted problem. The strategies proposed here will guarantee better outcomes for those who have the courage to implement them. My personal experience with the philosophy shared in this book resulted in tremendous gains for historically lower achieving students, not just academically but also with students flourishing past graduation."
"Where Equity Lives eloquently lays out an achievable path for equity leaders to detect and address inequities in schools and districts. This book is written in a style that deepens a reader’s knowledge and understanding on how to accelerate achievement for historically, struggling students. Avelar LaSalle and Johnson offer educational leaders their real world strategies on how to implement a razor sharp focus on structures, policies and practices that result in closing the current achievement gaps among ALL student groups. The authors identify and describe how to create conditions that get to the root and shatter the five most common systemic inequity traps impeding the achievement of historically struggling students. Where Equity Lives uncovers the answer to questions like: 'What is at the root of all systemic inequity traps?'
“By moving from theory to action, Where Equity Lives is the book we need. For any leader looking for practical and transformative ways to bring equity to life in schools and districts, this is the book which does just that. Avelar LaSalle and Johnson do a thorough job of providing readers with an essential set of knowledge, skills, and strategies to eliminate inequities, and imagine robust learning for all students. “
An awesome book about the persistent inequity problem in our schools! Dr. Avelar La Salle and Dr. Ruth Johnson present research-based insights and practical examples in Where Equity Lives to help educators understand and address one of the most significant problems in our education systems.