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The COVID-19 pandemic has shined a light on racial inequities that existed before the pandemic that are now being exacerbated. Our education system exemplifies these disparities. Since 2014, the majority of public school students in the United States identify as students of color. There is a growing body of academic research on the benefits of diversifying the teacher workforce, but the diversity of school and education system leaders matters, too. 80% of school principals in the United States are white, 10% are Black, and 7% are Latino. These numbers get even worse as you climb the leadership ladder. For instance, only 6% of district superintendents identify as leaders of color.
Educating students during a global pandemic requires education leaders to be aware and responsive to a wide set of equity and access challenges. Education leaders of color may be well-positioned to not just lead but set an example for school systems to follow in their unique responses to this pandemic. The “distinct and invaluable” perspectives of these leaders is a priority to Layla Avila, the Chief Executive Officer of Education Leaders of Color, a membership organization that elevates the leadership and influence of people of color in education. Avila explains that “leaders of color often have shared experiences with the students they serve that provide them with unique insights that equip them to address challenges more holistically.” Click here to read more…
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