Sharpening the Focus of Political Will to Address Achievement Disparities

Date of Completion

January 2011


Education, Leadership|Education, Policy|Education, Administration|Political Science, General




The sharpening of political will to address achievement disparities between English Language Learner (ELL) and non-ELL students is examined from four different perspectives: (a) instructional leadership, (b) professional learning, (c) policy implementation, and (d) social justice leadership. Literature in these four areas is compared to current practices in MidCity, a mid-sized diverse urban district. The analysis of MidCity from these four perspectives provides a basis for recommendations on how to sharpen the focus of political will among educational leaders to lessen achievement disparities between ELL and non-ELL students. ^ Recommendations include (a) improving the instructional and social justice leadership among administrators; (b) creating coalitions with community leaders; (c) increasing teacher and parent input in the decision-making process; (d) improving opportunities for teachers' professional learning; and (e) auditing policy implementation practices systematically to ensure that they are equitable for all students. ^