EDL 571 Internship Seminar II
Professional Writing for Educational Leaders 23 March 2013
NLU Mid-Program Case Study Analysis
An Analysis of the Case: Just Thinking, Reflecting, and Acting in Schools: A Case of Social Justice Leadership by Diana F. Ryan and Susan J. Katz Introduction
This is an analysis of “Just Thinking, Reflecting, and Acting in Schools: A Case of Social Justice Leadership” by Diana F. Ryan and Susan J. Katz (2007). This case surrounds a school district that has recently seen a change in its diverse student population due to the changing of demographics. Such demographic changes have been a result of immigration. As a result of these changing demographics, the school district has been challenged by the superintendent to “take responsibility for creating a socially just educational system” (Ryan and Katz, 2007)” because there has been biases towards minority subgroups- race, sex, physical ability and sexual orientation. These biases have been brought to attention in the evaluation of the district in the district report card. According to the report, “African American students, Hispanic students, students categorized as economically disadvantaged, and students with disabilities are not meeting state academic standards” (Ryan & Katz, 2007).” The mission of the superintendent is to find out how to create a more socially justice educational system in her schools. Summary of the Case
In a suburban school district in the Midwest, Superintendent Dr. Gloria Montoya recognized that there were major issues with social justice in her school district due her evaluation of the state district report card. The report card revealed that “forty-five percent of the students in the district are students of color, while ninety-three percent of teachers in the district are White” (Ryan and Katz, 2007).” Additionally, it was found that students classified as African American, Hispanic, economically disadvantaged and those who are possess a disability are shown to be “significantly less proficient in meeting academic standards compared to their White and Asian/Pacific Islander peers” (Ryan and Katz, 2007)”.
Dr. Gloria Montoya, a superintendent with a social justice definition of having all children “truly able to get what they need to succeed” by having “school leaders create an environment where all children learn well”, realized that it was time for her to “roll up her sleeves and get to work” (Ryan and Katz, 2007). Montoya was aware that student achievement must be examined from a social justice standpoint (2007). As a result, she challenged her principals to evaluate their own biases and thinking about diversity by engaging them in a district workshop. After the workshop it was assumed that the administrators will replicate the same approach with their own faculty and staff in their schools by implementing “professional development programs that help the district’s educators to uncover and identify their feelings, ideas, and beliefs toward cultural groups”(Ryan and Katz, 2007).”
Mimi Vandergraf, principal of Holland Elementary School in Dr. Montoya’s school district took on the challenge of not only implementing workshops in her school, but also immersing herself in various classes, workshops, and conferences that addressed issues of diversity (Ryan and Katz, 2007). Vandergraf was sensitive to the issues of diversity because she herself had been put in many positions of questioning her leadership due to her race and institutionalized racism.
After attending a State University workshop, Vandergraf came away with three activities that she wanted to implement with her staff. The first was Peggy McIntosh’s essay “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” coupled with the list of privileges. Vandergraf felt that this would help bring considerable insight to her White teachers on the benefits they may take for granted because they are a population born into them. The...
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