Now What? Confronting Uncomfortable Truths About Inequity in Schools
A Leadership Rubric for Action
- Carmella S. Franco
- Maria G. Ott
- Darline P. Robles - Los Angeles County Office of Education
Foreword by Delores B. Lindsey and Randall B. Lindsey
Navigate barriers and take actional steps toward equity
The principles of Cultural Proficiency have guided our drive toward equitable schools for decades. Leaders who apply this framework to scrutinize the beliefs and practices that have caused disproportionate harm to children of color and other marginalized students are frequently left with the question: “Now What?”
Using their unique insights and life experiences as Latina superintendents, the authors of Now What? Confronting Uncomfortable Truths About Inequity in Schools present a guide to navigating barriers, managing differences, and creating an actionable equity plan. Readers will find:
- a "What Next" guide for leaders at all levels to leverage Cultural Proficiency
- a Culturally Proficient Leadership Rubric for promoting growth
- an 8-Step Process to help educators gauge status and progress of their equity plan
- a discussion of the impact of COVID-19 on educational transformation, as well as heightened awareness of injustice, including the Black Lives Matter movement and mistreatment of immigrant children and families
Cultural Proficiency begins with us. By focusing on our beliefs and biases, and taking actionable steps, we can become more proficient at eliminating barriers.
"Franco, Ott, and Robles write in the opening chapter that “We are not the same leaders/authors of the 2011 edition.” Neither are we, as educators, school board members, community members, and parents, the same readers as we were in 2011. Just as they needed to write this 2nd edition, we all need to read this 2nd edition. We need to read with our ever-growing cache of experiences, insights, and lessons learned and to reflect upon how they influence our growth and expanding world views. These authors graciously and clearly unveil approaches, strategies, and tools for turning learning into action, providing models for all of us about how we can individually and institutionally develop our Cultural Proficiency in service of a more just and equitable learning experience and society for all of our students."
"Confronting Uncomfortable Truths provides a realistic view of how the pandemic has magnified equity in our schools across the nation."
"Cultural Proficiency is the book education leaders need now to address the needs of our increasingly diverse student population. Despite the political opposition in some areas to addressing issues related to race in our nation's schools, issues broadly related to diversity in language, culture, ethnicity and race, will continue to generate challenges and transform the character of learning experiences for many students and their teachers. The authors of Now What?, all veteran educational leaders with a wealth of practical experience, understand the importance of addressing these issues in a thoughtful manner. Written with a clear and compelling approach that practitioners will find useful and refreshing, this book will serve as a guide for how to ensure that increased diversity will be embraced and treated as a source of strength for our schools and our students."
“In the wake of a once-in-a-generation pandemic that exacerbated inequities in public education nationwide, Franco, Ott and Robles offer leaders insight and guidance to promote and ensure greater inclusion and equity. This is a valuable resource that will support transformational work needed to help every student reach their highest potential.”
"Latina superintendents represent only 3% of superintendents nationwide. Franco, Ott & Robles broke this glass ceiling in the 1990's and have served as role models to women of color across the country. I, along with so many Latina leaders, look to them not only for inspiration but for practical tools to, as they say, move beyond words to action for students who look like us and represent our lived experiences. In Now What? Confronting Truths about Inequity in Schools, this amazing Latina leadership trio reinforces the role of schools and districts as microcosms and nuclei of society. They call on us to muster up the courage to enact bold change--and they tell us how, in practical and tangible ways, while reminding us to expect fatigue and battle scars as we forge ahead."