Taylor N. Allbright, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Educational Leadership Department at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Dr. Allbright's teaching and scholarship are grounded in a passion for advancing equity within and through education. As a teacher, she supports educational leaders in Cal Poly Pomona's social justice-focused EdD program. Dr. Allbright's research explores efforts to further educational equity in K-12 schools, investigating how leaders design and implement policies with equity goals, the enactment of policies intended to mitigate racial inequity, and the politics and process of educational policy change. Dr. Allbright earned her PhD in Urban Education Policy from the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education.
The paradigm of test-based accountability has been a dominant force for decades, yet some argue that we have recently witnessed a dramatic change in the key beliefs influencing educational policy. To understand the extent of this transformation, we investigated the policy narrative supporting the adoption of a multiple measure accountability system in California’s CORE Districts. Our data revealed a narrative integrating key beliefs about knowledge, accountability, and social-emotional learning. This narrative continues the major themes of the previous accountability paradigm, but with two notable differences regarding the use of measurement data and role of social-emotional learning.
Hawthorne School District is one of seven districts studied by researchers at the Learning Policy Institute in the mixed methods Positive Outliers study, which sought to learn from positive outlier districts in which African American, Latino/a, and White students did better than predicted on California’s math and English language arts tests from 2015 through 2017, after accounting for differences in socioeconomic status. This in-depth case study describes the critical practices and policies within HSD that have promoted student learning. Through an analysis of interviews and documents, this case study describes four key factors that participants described as central to the district’s success: a climate of respect, trust and strong relationships; stable district leadership; intentional building of capacity and buy-in for Common Core; and consistent instructional support.
There is a growing consensus in education that schools can and should attend to students’ social-emotional development. Emerging research and popular texts indicate that students’ mindsets, beliefs, dispositions, emotions and behaviors can advance outcomes, such as college readiness, career success, mental health and relationships. Despite this growing awareness, many districts and schools are still struggling to implement strategies that develop students’ social-emotional skills. The purpose of this paper is to fill this gap by examining the social-emotional learning (SEL) practices in ten middle schools with strong student-reported data on SEL outcomes, particularly for African American and Latinx students.
We examine how district administrators’ conceptions of equity relate to the implementation of finance reform. We use sensemaking theory and four views of equity—libertarian, liberal, democratic liberal, and transformative—to guide a case study of two districts, finding evidence of two conceptions of equity: (1) greater resources for students with greater needs and (2) equal distribution of resources for all students. One district demonstrated an organization-wide belief in the first conception, whereas the other conveyed individual-level understandings of both conceptions. These beliefs were mirrored in resource allocation decisions and informed by districts’ student demographics, organizational identities, and perceptions of adequacy.
SELECTED COURSE SYLLABI
This course will support leaders in critically analyzing the broader policy environment in which they are situated, and it will also facilitate leaders’ abilities to design and communicate policy alternatives within their own practice. Drawing on leading theoretical perspectives in the educational policy literature, we will examine the stages of the policy process—agenda-setting, definition of problems and goals, policy design, adoption, and implementation. We will also dive into key topics in the current education policy discourse, examining relevant scholarship and recent publications from prominent policy research organizations.
This course is designed to support the development of key skills and knowledge that will allow students to successfully complete their doctoral degrees, with a particular focus on preparing for the doctoral dissertation.
This EdD course aims to prepare students to design and conduct qualitative research regarding problems of practice in educational leadership. In particular, the purpose of this course is to support students in developing key methodological skills needed for their doctoral dissertations. While the main emphasis of this course is on qualitative research, we also touch on mixed-method designs.
The purpose of this EdD course is to prepare educational leaders to advance equity and social justice in education—both as scholars and as practitioners. To allow for in-depth exploration of one dimension of the equity conversation, course readings will foreground issues of racial equity, though we will also examine intersecting dynamics such as class, gender, language, sexuality, and ability. In the latter half of the course, we will turn to ways that practitioners might advance social justice, exploring prominent leadership frameworks and examining specific concerns and strategies regarding educational equity.