From a lighthouse to a foghorn: A school board’s navigation toward equity for english learners

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Little is known about the role of local school boards in the policy-making process, particularly in terms of educational equity. Framed by concepts from existing scholarship on school board effectiveness, cultural responsiveness, and the opportunity gap, this article critically explores how school boards address policies and practices related to the education of English learners (ELs). Based on inter-view and archival data, findings from this qualitative case study show how one school board reactively engaged in the development and implementation of EL-related policies and practices. These findings also reflect areas of tension among the school board that resulted in resistance and reconciliation over issues of race, equity, and deficit-based perspectives on ELs. In conclusion, I offer the metaphor of the foghorn as a guide for school boards to actively seek expertise, willingly shift perspectives, and patiently maintain a commitment in their path toward educational equity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Education
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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