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A Test of Equity

September 18, 2012

How do you measure equity? Once cultural competence was written into Oregon standards for licensed school administrators, in a move toward educational equity unique in the 50 states, leaders from Lewis & Clark wanted to see how well it was working.

Carolyn Carr, professor and chair of educational leadership and director of the Lewis & Clark doctoral program in educational leadership, talked with Rob Larson Ed.D. ’08 of Education Northwest and the Oregon Leadership Network. “We asked, ‘Is there a way to measure administrators’ growth on a developmental scale?’” Carr says. The two began creating a set of questions to help administrators assess their progress. Later, Mollie Galloway, assistant professor of educational leadership, joined their effort. Together, they are developing the Leadership for Equity Assessment & Development (LEAD) Tool, a “guided reflection rubric”for school leadership teams based on Oregon’s unique licensure standards.

“We ask administrators to give us examples of what they do to meet the ‘visionary leadership’ standard—the first criterion mentioned in Oregon’s standards,” Carr says. “Or, we ask, ‘Tell us how you are increasing equity in instruction.’”

Validation studies are still under way, but the goal is to create a practical tool that will provide useful data about school leadership on equity issues.

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