An article written by Dr. Mark Hansen, from Regional Office of Education #28, on the Leadership for Equity (LFE) Micro-Credential Series for School and District Leaders was recently published in the Illinois School Board Journal. The LFE Micro-Credentials were developed by Leading Ed Partnerships—a collaboration of Regional Offices of Education, school districts, and universities funded and supported by the Center for the Study of Education Policy’s (CSEP) federal Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) grant.
The LFE Micro-Credentials are designed to help aspiring and current leaders develop competencies that will support greater equity in their districts and schools. The LFE series engages participants in authentic, job-embedded learning experiences designed to build competencies that support equitable opportunities and outcomes for all students.
Leading Ed partners worked with BloomBoard to deliver these micro-credentials through a robust, digital platform. Participants analyze information about their schools or districts, design and develop strategies to address problems of practice, implement those strategies, and evaluate their effectiveness. The ADDIE (Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement and Evaluate) process promotes “learning by doing.”
The LFE Micro-Credentials series is designed around five competencies:
MC 1—Exploring and Deepening an Equity Mindset
Participants will understand their own biases and assumptions, identify equity shifts meriting priority attention in their schools or districts, communicate those shifts in a clear and compelling manner, and seek feedback from other leaders in the process.
MC 2—Applying a Culturally Responsive Lens to a Data Cycle
Participants will identify performance gaps indicative of an equity problem(s) in their school or district, aggregate related data, conduct root cause analysis, collaborate with district and building leaders, use feedback to inform next steps, and design or schedule professional learning to address the performance gap.
MC 3—Guiding Culturally Responsive Instructional Practices
Participants will evaluate the status of instructional practices in their schools or districts, identify practices that merit priority attention, anticipate all of the adult learning that will be necessary to implement a school-wide change in instructional practice, and articulate a professional development plan necessary to support adult learning.
MC 4—Making Culturally Responsive Personnel Decisions
Participants will assess current hiring and renewal practices for principals or teachers in their school or district, gather feedback on those practices, use personal analysis and team feedback to identify areas for improvement, and plan an intervention for implementing a high-leverage strategy to improve hiring and renewal practices.
MC 5—Inducting and Mentoring Staff to Advance Culturally Responsive Teaching
Participants will understand the leader’s influence on culturally responsive schools, analyze the existing plan for inducting and mentoring new principals or teachers, target a principal or teacher competency for improvement, design a strategy to better support that competency through the induction process, pilot the new strategy, and reflect on the pilot.
For each micro-credential successfully completed, participants earn a digital badge for display on their professional license. Each micro-credential can also fulfill one Illinois Administrator Academy (IAA) credit or count for 30 hours of professional development. While the credentials are designed to be used in isolation or in aggregate, the advantage of completing all five is the deepening awareness that equity work requires a comprehensive, pervasive, and systems approach.
The Illinois Association of School Boards’ journal article—”Swing Away: Why Equity Matters for All Students, Schools, and Communities“—can be found on Pages 27-29.