Justice in the Gaps: School Leader Dispositions and the Use of Data to Address the Opportunity Gap

Osly J. Flores, Michael G. Gunzenhauser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article addresses what we are calling “the gaps,” the divergent and contextual understandings of “opportunity gap” and “achievement gap” evident in interviews with principals and school district leaders. Drawing from a sample of 22 interviews in urban, inner-ring suburban, and outer-ring suburban schools in a northeastern state, we explore how school leaders define the “gaps,” use data (in its many forms) to pose questions and construct solutions, and position themselves. Analysis unearthed varied dispositions among the school leaders about how to frame gaps in achievement and opportunity, varied capacities to address these gaps, and varied leadership responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-288
JournalUrban Education
Volume56
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • achievement gap
  • African American students
  • disposition
  • leadership
  • opportunity gap
  • social justice
  • urban education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Urban Studies

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