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Equity Visits

Equity Visits
A New Approach to Supporting Equity-Focused School and District Leadership

  • Rachel Roegman - University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, USA
  • David Allen - Texas Christian University, US & University of Warwick, UK
  • Larry Leverett - Panasonic Foundation, Inc.
  • Scott Thompson - Panasonic Foundation, Inc.
  • Thomas Hatch - Professor, Teachers College, Columbia University and Director, National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools, & Teaching (NCREST)

Foreword by Edward Fergus, A Joint Publication with Phi Delta Kappa

Additional resources:

September 2019 | 192 pages | Corwin

Because equity and instruction are inextricably bound

Why are equity visits such a critical first step to increasing opportunity and access for our under-served students? Because they take instructional rounds to a new level, providing a powerful lens for investigating the intersections of equity and instruction. After all, how can we possibly deliver equitable learning experiences, opportunities, and outcomes for our students, without first pinpointing problems of practice?

That’s where Equity Visits will prove absolutely indispensable to district and school administrators. It details how to combine a strong focus on instruction with explicit, intentional efforts to address systemic inequities. Inside you’ll find

  • A range of data collection activities and tools to target central issues of equity in your school
  • Clear guidelines on how to investigate the ways instructional practices, structures, and beliefs lead to inequitable educational experiences—and how these are often masked in the day-to-day life of schools and districts
  • A frank discussion of how to make race and racism an explicit part of investigating and addressing educational inequities
  • Voices of school and district leaders who have taken crucial first steps to become “equity warriors”
  • Recommendations on how to develop policies, initiatives, and practices to confront those inequities

Few dispute that instructional improvement must be a central focus of educational leadership, but for too long achieving educational equity has been absent from the conversation. Here is your opportunity to ensure equity occupy a central spot in data collection and analysis, and be explicitly discussed at all levels of your school or district organization. In short, essential reading and doing for all administrators!

List of Figures
Foreword by Edward Fergus
About the Authors
INTRODUCTION • Needed: Equity-Focused Leaders
Leading for Equity in a Segregated State

Defining Equity-Focused Leadership

Developing Equity-Focused Leadership in New Jersey

Putting Equity and Instruction at the Center: Equity Visits

Overview of the Book

CHAPTER 1 • Developing Equity Visits
Missing: The Integration of Equity and Instruction

Shifting from Instruction to Equity and Instruction

Learning Lessons Across the Eras

CHAPTER 2 • A Detailed Look at Equity Visits
Core Elements of an Equity Visit

Revisiting the Core Elements

CHAPTER 3 • Equity-Focused Learning Communities
Learning About Equity in a Community

Putting Together Organizational Components of Sustained Learning Communities

Drawing on Organizational Tools

Building Supports for Equity-Focused Learning and Practice

CHAPTER 4 • Talking About Race and Racism
Acknowledging Race in PreK–12 Schools

Talking About Race in PreK–12 Schools

Different Challenges for Leaders of Color and for White Leaders

Challenges to Making Race Central to Discussions of Equity in Schools

Keeping Race at the Center of the Discussion

CHAPTER 5 • Lessons for Leaders Ready to Integrate Equity and Instruction
Implications for Individuals

Implications for School and Districts as Organizations

Implications for Leadership Preparation and Professional Development


Appendix A: Participating Superintendents and Their Districts

Appendix B: Resources

Appendix C: Tools for Conducting Equity Visits

Appendix D: Protocols



"American education is at a crossroads. We must deliver on our obligation to educate all students at a high level or be prepared to put our country in decline.  More children arrive at school burdened by poverty, by high rates of family mobility, as English language learners or members of other groups who have historically been underserved. We must make the choice to address the inequities that plague public education. This is a national imperative.


The good news is that this challenge can be met. There are school leaders and school systems where that work is being done, where equity is being talked about and delivered. These accomplished authors have provided thoughtful analysis, tools, suggestions, and a vision of what can be.  Please read the book carefully. It is up to you—to each of us—to address the educational needs of the most diverse student population in our history. "

Jerry D.Weast, Founder & CEO
Partnership for Deliberate Excellence, LLC

"Today’s public school system leaders are responsible for transforming teaching and learning through an equity lens. The complexity of this work requires theoretical frameworks, stories of success and practical advice. The NJNS leaders and superintendents have provided an invaluable resource for those who not only want to learn about equity, but want to act. By focusing on the power of equity visits, Rogeman, Allen, Leverett, Thompson and Hatch
have given practitioners a set of tools and models that will enable them to start their own journeys of system transformation through an equity lens.

Joshua P. Starr Ph. D, CEO of PDK International

"Equity Visits documents the evolution of more than a decade of work among the New Jersey Network of Superintendents--from its focus on improvement of teaching and learning through instructional rounds, to visits with an explicit focus on improving equity practices.  The book’s many tools will enable educational leaders to collaboratively investigate schools and districts to understand the specific practices and cultures that perpetuate inequity.  After reading this book educational leaders will better appreciate that change, especially focused on eliminating inequities, is slow and hard; develop effective strategies for talking openly about racial and other inequities; be equipped to process defeats on the way to success; and nurture leadership of all to sustain equity work."

Dr. Linnea Weiland, Department Chair of Elementary and Early Childhood Education, William Paterson University

"Equity Visits provides an essential addition to the growing canon of literature about public education and diversity, equity, and inclusion.  Chronicling over a decade of experiences of equity warrior teams, the authors capture the ups and downs of leaders who work across silos to brainstorm and try systemic solutions for the persistent structural and systemic diseases of racism, poverty, and kids left behind."

Perry Chen, Education Strategy Consultant, Oakland Unified School District

"As transformational educational leaders, our daily task is to insure that 'demography isn’t destiny' for the children we serve.  Equity Visits provides a proven strategy for engaging leaders in the work of identifying and dismantling structures and policies that preclude high achievement, while sharing and promoting those practices that enhance students’ success.  Through this book, readers will deepen their understanding that the pursuit of excellence must be our goal and equity must be the strategy we use to attain it."

Deborah Jewell-Sherman, Ed.D.
The Gregory R. Anrig Professor for Education Leadership, Harvard Graduate School of Education

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