School Context And Lack Of Direct Strategies

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First, school leaders in schools with low number of students of color revealed a lack of direct strategies to reduce the gaps. For example, Kevin Labby, the principal of an upper-middle class high school with less than ten percent students of color, answered that he does not use data to support his diverse students. As Labby tells us, “There is no specific plan for that, you know. If we see a group isn’t performing like other groups we use that information to take action.” Here we see the coalesce of school context and no positionality towards supporting students of color informs his leadership practice with the “gap.” Also, another elementary principal in the same district held a similar position. When asked how he uses data to support his diverse students, the elementary principal states, “Same way [the same strategies he uses with all students], its kind of the same structure, you know. . .So, I don’t look at that child as from a diverse standpoint.” The implication from the above two school leaders, then, revealed a color-blind approach. Moreover, we found that in certain circumstances when school context was juxtapose with positionality, school context tended to provide a strong influence. One principal working in an upper-middle class school district revealed to the first author a small sample of his background—he was ethnically mixed (black and white) and grew up poor. Yet, his responses revealed a conflict that we believe resulted from working in an affluent school
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