Inclusive leadership is better for schools, teachers, and all students. Every student deserves to attend a school led by a principal with the skills, knowledge, and training to promote equity for all students, including students with disabilities. Yet, general education teachers and school principals report being underprepared to effectively serve students with disabilities. Only 12 percent of a nationally representative sample of school principals and only 17 percent of general education teachers report feeling well prepared to serve and teach students with disabilities.
Support for Preparing Inclusive School Leaders During COVID-19
While the COVID-19 crisis has disrupted education for all students, students with disabilities face unique challenges in transitioning to remote learning and in their eventual transition back to the classroom. Like the pandemic and the systemic racism plaguing our nation, inequitable access to effective school leadership is more prevalent for underserved populations, including students with disabilities. A recently released brief from CCSSO, the CEEDAR Center, and the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders highlights key recommendations, examples, and resources to support educator preparation programs (EPPs) and Deans of Education in addressing the pressing challenges for school leaders posed by the COVID-19 crises.
Learning Policy Institute’s (LPI) new study, Measuring Student Socioeconomic Status: Toward a Comprehensive Approach, discusses the limitations of the popular measure and examines alternatives for state policymakers who are seeking to accurately count students from low-income families.
“Changing how we measure and address student poverty is more important than ever,” said LPI Senior Researcher Peter Cookson, who authored the study. “A shift away from the [federal Free and Reduced-Price Lunch] FRPL [program] measure was already long overdue and taking place in some states. This takes on deeper urgency now as learning for a generation of students has been upheaved by the COVID-19 pandemic. Accurately measuring family incomes is necessary if policymakers are to allocate school resources that meet the educational needs of students.”
AACTE Board members John Henning and Mary Murray recently met with me to discuss why leadership and building partnerships matter during times of crises. In the videos, Henning and Murray shared the following:
“A key rule of a leader during difficult times is to unify people and bring them together around the problem. By helping them move forward, things can get done rapidly, which is important when change is occurring quickly. With rapid change, it’s also important for leaders to stay organized,” said John Henning, dean of the school of education at Monmouth University. Henning is an experienced educational practitioner, researcher, and leader. His primary research interests include practice-based teacher education, teacher development, instructional decision-making, and classroom discourse. He is also an active scholar and researcher, with more than 50 publications. His fourth book, titled Building Mentoring Capacity in Teacher Education: A Guide to Clinically-Based Teacher Education, was released in 2019 by Routledge. He served for more than 20 years as a high school teacher. Henning obtained an M.Ed. in vocational education and a Ph.D. in educational psychology from Kent State University in Ohio. He received a B.S. in general agriculture from The Penn State University.