The practice of instructional rounds is a recent innovation in educational administration, intended to support administrators’ understanding of instruction through the development of common language. This longitudinal study examines the rounds practice of a network of superintendents over 6 years to understand how rounds serves as a vehicle for addressing inequities in students’ educational experiences. Using Scott’s concept of normative, regulative, and cultural-cognitive pillars, we investigate the practice to see how the network addressed issues of equity in 21 visits. Findings demonstrate that increased attention to equity in the protocol and visit expectations resulted in increased attention to equity. However, conversations manifested three patterns that functioned to curtail a focus on equity: understating race, the “culture of nice,” and following the protocol. We conclude with implications for how rounds can be structured to bring equity into sustained focus, with an understanding of regulative, normative, and cultural-cognitive pillars as constantly interacting.
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