The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

Educational Administration and Leadership, K-12: Ed.D.


Educational Administration and Higher Education


School of Education

First Advisor

John Eller

Second Advisor

Cheryl Lange

Third Advisor

Roger Worner

Fourth Advisor

Plamen Miltenoff

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

educational equity, leadership, systemic inequities, racism


Current literature has identified multiple underlying causes for disproportionate and widespread underachievement between student groups: the history of inequities in American education (Noguera, 2012; Singleton, 2015), a prevailing White racial-frame worldview and systemic racism producing implicitly-biased educational policies and practices (Lawrence & Keleher, 2004; Feagin, 2014), and opportunity gaps perpetuating lower educational achievement and attainment by students of color and students from impoverished backgrounds (Jordan, Brown & Gutiérrez, 2010; Noguera, 2012). Educators must critically reflect on the obstacles to achieving educational equity and the lack of access to quality instructional opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds and the impact these barriers have on students’ lives (Nieto & Bode, 2012).

The study focuses on developing a comprehensive understanding of the factors needed to achieve educational equity for all learners (GLEC, 2012, 2016a). Specifically, the study focuses on the actions of the education staff to pursue the key constructs of educational equity through organizational, curricular, and policy practices and by access to rigorous, challenging courses, meaningful participation and engagement, cultural representation and voice, and positive academic and social results and outcomes for all learners, especially those from diverse racial, ethnic, and low socioeconomic backgrounds (Fraser, 2008; GLEC, 2012, 2016a).

The results of the study point out school leaders must enact systemic changes which move “beyond the words” and “beneath the practices” to create equitable learning environments.



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