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Educators from 12 States Focus on Equity

About 50 educators from throughout the nation gathered at the Long Beach Unified School District’s Teacher Resource Center recently for a three-day visit to discuss “Leading for Equity.”  The visit was a joint effort of the school district and San Diego State University in partnership with The Wallace Foundation.

LBUSD partners with SDSU on educator credential programs, and in recent years Wallace has provided significant grant funding to help Long Beach schools build a leadership pipeline featuring principal supervisors and extensive coaching in support of high quality teaching for all students.  The Long Beach effort has garnered attention in national journals such as School Administrator and Principal Leadership.

Among the LBUSD presenters at the recent three-day gathering were Deputy Superintendent Jill Baker and Director of Leadership Development Kelly An, who have been instrumental in the development of LBUSD’s leadership pipeline. 

LBUSD Board of Education President Felton Williams and Superintendent Christopher J. Steinhauser participated in a panel discussion with Francisco Escobedo, superintendent of the Chula Vista Elementary School District.  The three leaders discussed the “systems” decisions that are made to support equity-driven leadership.

Williams discussed the importance of strategic planning and goal setting with an eye toward equity.

“Everybody really needs to be rowing their oars in the same direction and not against one another,” Williams said, “and that’s what the planning process allows us to do.”

Williams is serving his fifth term as LBUSD board president and will be honored with a Civil Rights and Education Award by the Long Beach Branch NAACP (lbcanaacp.org) during a 40th Founder’s Gala Celebration 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9 at The Long Beach Hilton.

During the recent panel discussion, Superintendent Steinhauser recalled the early stages of LBUSD’s leadership pipeline efforts, and he underscored the importance of long-term, five-year budgeting as a way to sustain the continuity of efforts like the principal supervisor initiative.

“This effort was about leadership development, but is was really about supporting teachers and kids and administrators and the mission of the system,” Steinhauser said.  “It has been very positive, through the leadership of Dr. Jill Baker and others in the program.”

The audience included educators from Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.  Learn more about The Wallace Foundation’s work at wallacefoundation.org.