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AACTE Recognizes Leslie Fenwick with the Gloria J. Ladson-Billings Outstanding Book Award  

AACTE  today announced that Leslie T. Fenwick, Ph.D., author of the book Jim Crow’s Pink Slip: The Untold Story of Black Principal and Teacher Leadership (Harvard Education Press, 2022), has been selected to receive the 2023 Gloria J. Ladson-Billings Outstanding Book Award. Fenwick will be recognized formally with the award during the AACTE 75th Annual Meeting, February 24 – 26 in Indianapolis, IN.

The Gloria J. Ladson-Billings Outstanding Book Award, named in honor of the prominent American pedagogical theorist and teacher educator, recognizes an author or book that significantly contributes to the knowledge base of educator preparation. The award, overseen by the AACTE Committee on Research and Dissemination, acknowledges those that offer a fresh lens on current assumptions or practices, reorient thinking in the field, and show potential for significant impact on policy or practice in educator preparation.

Jim Crow’s Pink Slip: The Untold Story of Black Principal and Teacher Leadership (Harvard Education Press, 2022) has been referenced by the New York Times, selected as a National Public Radio (NPR) Book of the Day, and listed as the #1 Bestseller in Education History and Theory by Amazon. It is the first book to provide a historical analysis of the purposeful and most extensive purge of educator talent ever experienced in the U.S. public school system. Jim Crow’s Pink Slip chronicles how the illegal transfer of educator jobs from blacks to whites during the period of massive resistance to Brown v. Board of Education impeded the nation’s progress toward truly integrated schools, stymied equal educational opportunity, and crippled Black leadership of public schools. Jim Crow’s Pink Slip concludes with a series of policy and practice recommendations to diversify the nation’s educator workforce and redefine school reform.

A former presidentially-appointed Visiting Fellow and Visiting Scholar at Harvard University, Fenwick has made a sustained contribution to the research literature on education equity, educator workforce diversity, and education policy. She has published more than 100 journal articles, policy monographs, book chapters, edited books, and books. Additionally, she has delivered numerous distinguished lectures and keynotes to national and international audiences. As a very public-facing scholar, Fenwick’s policy research and op-ed articles have been cited and published by the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Politico, Education Week, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, and Center for American Progress.

She is frequently called upon to testify on Capitol Hill at Senate Hearings and has addressed numerous legislative, education, and other bodies about the impact of teacher quality on educational equity including the National Conference of State Legislatures, National Conference of Mayors, National Urban League,  the Congressional Black Caucus, National Education Association (NEA), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), American Association of School Administrators (AASA), and the Education Writers Association (EWA). Fenwick has been a featured speaker at the National Press Club (Washington, DC) and appeared on CNN, C-SPAN Live, Yahoo! Finance News, Washington Post Live, and NPR discussing education equity and public policy. She is co-founder of the AASA Urban Superintendents Academy which is designed to diversify the nation’s superintendency.

As a nationally renowned educator, education policy scholar, and best-selling author, Fenwick has worked in every aspect of education, including as a PK-12 teacher and administrator in both public and private schools, as a university faculty member and administrator, as a foundation program officer, and as a legislative aid in the Ohio Senate when the state drafted its first omnibus school reform legislation. In 2022, she was appointed by U.S. President Joseph R. Biden to the Board of Visitors for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Currently, she is dean emerita and professor of education policy at the Howard University School of Education, Dean in Residence at AACTE, and a MCLC Senior Fellow at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Additionally, she is a member of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture Scholarly Advisory Committee (SAC). The SAC – which is comprised of 11 nationally known scholars – was established by noted historian Dr. John Hope Franklin to help set the museum’s intellectual agenda and exhibition content.

“Described as a ‘fearless voice’ for educational equity, Fenwick is a driving force for change in the field of educator preparation whose work has touched every aspect of the profession, in a career spanning teaching, administrative and foundation work, scholarship and legislative reform,” said Lynn M. Gangone, AACTE president and CEO. “I look forward to honoring her revolutionary contributions at the 75th Annual Meeting later this month.