From the Editors

Problematic Policy: Challenges and Opportunities for Addressing Systemic Equity Concerns

By: Hollie J. Mackey (University of Oklahoma) and Natalie A. Tran (California State University, Fullerton)


Evading Equity: Principal Autonomy Under the Bloomberg-Klein Market Regime

By: Tiffanie C. Lewis-Durham (University of Louisville)

Using New York City schools as a case study, this study draws on interview data from principals, district consultants and administrators, and principal’s union representatives to explore the relationship between market-based reform and colorblindness in educational policy. The study is informed by colorblindness theory, which explores the subtle and unconscious ways equity oriented goals are undermined. I also draw on urban regime theory, which highlights the ability of political, private, and other local actors to use resources and power to build coalitions. Results reveal market-based regimes, supported by business and political partnerships, are likely to relegate issues of equity to the periphery while they focus on privatizing decision-making and shaping schools to reflect market place values.

Democratic Purpose and Educational Leadership Policies in Sweden and in Texas 

By: Elizabeth Murakami (Texas A&M University - San Antonio) and Monika Törnsén (Umeå University, Sweden)

In this study we analyze the extent to which policy documents that include standards and expectations for the preparation of school principals (i.e., head teachers) influence democratic practices. This comparative research examines educational policies that influence the work of principals both in Sweden and in the U.S., the state of Texas asking: What does it mean for a principal to create a school environment that emphasizes democratic practices? The context of education is provided for both populations, including the role of principals as related to the importance and function of schools in a democracy in a society.

Going Against the Grain of Accountability Policy: Leadership Preparation for Using Data to Promote Socially Just Outcomes

By: Hollie J. Mackey (University of Oklahoma)

Leadership preparation programs are in transition as scholars seek to determine more sophisticated approaches in developing leaders for the increasing demands of accountability policy. This critical conceptual analysis focuses on leadership preparation for the socialization of school leaders. It is intended to reframe current perspectives about data use and provides recommendations for improving leadership development for socially just outcomes. Critical perspectives towards improving leadership preparation programs through questioning disposition and skill development might serve to improve preparation programs by addressing the more nuanced elements of leadership undergirding school reform.

The effects of Spanish English dual language immersion on student achievement in science and mathematics

By: Natalie A. Tran, Sam Behseta, Mark Ellis, Armando Martinez-Cruz, and Jacqueline Contreras (California State University, Fullerton)

In this study, we present quantitative findings on the effects of English-Spanish dual language immersion on student achievement in science and mathematics in grades 3, 4, and 5. The research aims to present empirical evidence documenting the impact of dual language immersion, reveal analytical techniques utilizing nonparametric measure of similar and comparative analysis, and discuss the benefits and common misconceptions associated with dual language immersion as well as implications for serving disadvantaged students and their success in STEM education.

Teacher perceptions of English learners acquisition of academic English: Impacts on long term English learner classification

By: Catalina Olvera (California State University, Fullerton and Rowland Unified School District)

This article examines how teacher’s perceptions of students classified as English learners (ELs) can impact the reclassification of these students as long-term English Language Learners (LTEL). Understanding teachers’ perceptions will empower them to understand the needs of students struggling with English proficiency and how their perceptions impact student achievement. The conceptual framework for this paper consists of three concepts: (a) historical, political and social influences on ELs, (b) programs for ELs, and (c) teacher expectations. This article study sought to examine classroom level factors impacting some students’ ability to become proficient in English. Overall, the findings support that teachers’ perceptions are grounded in deficit thinking. Educators may find it useful to interview their own students as a form of self-review process in order to become more aware of their teaching methods and how students internalize the instruction.

Partnership for Change: Promoting Effective Leadership Practices for Indigenous Educational Success in Aotearoa New Zealand

By: Andrés P. Santamaría (Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand), Melinda Webber, Lorri J. Santamaría, and Lincoln I. Dam (The University of Auckland, New Zealand)

In early 2014, a team of researchers was invited into partnership with the Māori Success Initiative (MSI), a national, indigenous led network of Māori and non-Māori principals committed to working collaboratively to raise Māori student achievement. Working with over sixty principals across six regional clusters throughout Aotearoa New Zealand, these researchers utilised critical Kaupapa Māori methodology to observe, engage, and support MSI’s vision of A Change in the Hearts and Minds of Principals in mainstream contexts. Qualitative data collected from leadership surveys, hui reflective statements, and other documents were analysed to validate and strengthen MSI’s efforts to establish a critical mass of effective school leadership practices that promote and sustain Māori success as Māori. This paper highlights the research and outcomes resulting from evaluating the personal and professional growth of MSI leaders. Finally, implications for effective, culturally responsive leadership for Māori success as Māori are provided.

Book Review

Cross-cultural women scholars in academe: Intergenerational voices

By: Sangeetha Carmona (PBIS Coordinator, San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools)