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Be the Driving Force

Leading Your School on the Road to Equity

School equity demands a comprehensive understanding of the intricate relationship between school leadership and the complex social, economic, and political contexts that shape the education system. Maintain your motivation and focus to do this important work.This essential leadership guide offers research-based strategies, action steps, and reflection questions to help leaders become the driving force for schoolwide equitable practices.


  • Understand the impact leadership has on equity in schools.
  • Integrate effective school leadership research into everyday practice.
  • Build trust and respect with students, staff, and community through effective communication.
  • Lead with strength and integrity.
  • Collaborate effectively with teachers to establish an inclusive and equitable environment.
  • Explore discussion questions, surveys, and action steps to internalize the content and encourage follow-through.
  • Discover various leadership styles and how to select the one appropriate for them and their schools.

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Be the Driving Force

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Chapter 1: Building Self-Confidence as the Key
Chapter 2: Embracing the Principal as the Engine
Chapter 3: Maximizing Equity Through Leadership Styles
Chapter 4: Creating the Vision to Desired Destinations
Chapter 5: Adjusting the School Climate
Chapter 6: Growing Equity From Integrity
Chapter 7: Revising School Policies and Procedures
Chapter 8: Managing Effective Communication
Chapter 9: Implementing Culturally Responsive Practices
Chapter 10: Charging Your Battery Through Self-Care


Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10



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  • Cartledge, G., Yurick, A. L., & Oif Telesman, A. (2022). There’s more to the story: Using literature to teach diversity and social-emotional skills in the elementary classroom. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • Hannigan, J., Hannigan, J. D., Mattos, M., & Buffum, A. (2021). Behavior solutions: Teaching academic and social skills through RTI at Work. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • Kramer, S. V., & Schuhl, S. (2023). Acceleration for all: A how-to guide for overcoming learning gaps. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • Mattos, M. (2017). Timebomb: The cost of dropping out [DVD]. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • Parker, D. (2019). Building bridges: Engaging students at-risk through the power of relationships. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • Skiba, R. J., Arredondo, M. I., & Raush, M. K. (2014). New and developing research on disparities in discipline (Discipline Disparities Series: New Research). Bloomington, IN: The Equity Project at Indiana University, Center for Evaluation and Education Policy. Accessed at www.njjn.org/uploads/digital-library/OSF_Discipline-Disparities _Disparity_NewResearch_3.18.14.pdf on June 2, 2023.