Date of Award

Spring 5-23-2019

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Degree Program

Educational Administration

Department

Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Foundations

Major Professor

Beabout, Brian

Second Advisor

Broadhurst, Christopher

Third Advisor

Keane-Jeffers, Elizabeth

Abstract

Leadership at the district level is a contributing factor to student achievement and the overall success of individual schools and school districts. However, with respect to leading equity-oriented transformations, most research has centered on the work of leaders and administrators at the school-building level. Considering their direct involvement in formulating and executing equity-framed change initiatives, understanding the role and influence of central office-based leaders is paramount. Designed as an instrumental case study, the process of executing a court-ordered desegregation plan was utilized to assist in deepening the understanding of the role of school district-based leadership as it relates to developing and implementing policies that seek to decrease and/or eliminate vestiges of racial and social injustices as well as evoke system-wide transformations. This case study was framed by a broad scope of scholarly work on change leadership and transformative practices. A collection of semi-structured interviews, guided by Seidman’s (2006) three-interview series structure, served as the primary source of data. With respect to district-level leadership, the data gathered from this study identifies conditions, structures, and behaviors that support and hinder equity-driven change and inclusive practices within schooling. Moreover, the findings indicate a need to focus on building capacity for equity-oriented transformations at the central office, managing multi-dimensional resistance within a social justice context, and empowering community groups to support and/or drive systemic change efforts within the educational setting. Additionally, recommendations aimed to extend and focus areas of practice, policy, and future research are presented.

Rights

The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

Available for download on Monday, May 23, 2022

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