Instructional Leadership in Action

[Interview] Gia Truong on her commitment to equitable education systems that provide all students with the skills they need to thrive.

by Max Silverman Dec 6, 2018

In this latest installment of The Throughline, Max Silverman speaks with Gia Truong about ensuring that all students, regardless of background, experience a rigorous education, free from bias.

Gia Truong is the chief executive officer at Envision Education, a mission-driven organization based in Oakland, Calif., that is transforming the lives of low-income, first-generation, college-bound students. Envision operates charter schools in the Bay Area and provides training and consulting services to schools and districts all over the country. Truong leads Envision with a strong commitment to educational equity and a focus on providing enhanced rigor and deeper learning opportunities for students. She is a Leading for Equity Fellow with the National Equity Project, is a member of Education Leaders of Color, and is the former executive officer of California’s Oakland Unified Schools’ Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

Max Silverman: Gia, we both have the honor of leading organizations with deep equity agendas. In your day-to-day work, how do you define equity?

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Hope to see you at our sessions at the AASA National Conference on Education

by UWCEL Feb 12, 2018

We have three great sessions on Thursday and Friday for superintendents and principal supervisors at the AASA National Conference on Education in Nashville. Check them out!

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A school superintendent's insights on equity, recognizing success, and how buy-in is like an accordion

by Sheeba Jacob Mar 15, 2017


Since 2015, Tammy Campbell has served as superintendent of Federal Way Public Schools, a diverse district of 39 schools and 23,000 students in Washington state. As an inspiring, second-year superintendent with 20 years of experience in education, Campbell delivered the opening keynote presentation at the CEL Summer Leadership Institute, held July 18-20, 2017. CEL’s Sheeba Jacob had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Campbell recently.

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How my school district improved graduation rates with equity

by Mary Beth Tack Feb 14, 2017

Over the past few years, I have noticed something in the principals I work with. As their work has gotten more complex and intense, the question of “Why am I doing this work?“ starts to come up more often.

So, at the end of the last school year, I asked each principal to interview a student they regarded as a main reason as to why they came to work every day and entered the profession. The video clips we got back were inspiring. One principal filmed a student whose family came from Mexico, struggled with English in middle school and became an amazing leader. Another talked to a high-achieving student who was touched to tears to be one of the principal’s main motivations for their work.

As the director of teaching and learning, I had to ask myself: What story do I have to tell? What’s my “why”?

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Closing the Achievement Gap Requires Closing the Gap Between Schools and Central Offices

by Max Silverman Mar 9, 2016

In many ways the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) marks a departure from No Child Left Behind (NCLB). But at least in one way it stays the course: the notion of school turnaround is alive and well.

Under ESSA, the federal government still requires states to identify their worst-performing schools and come up with a plan to make them better. If ESSA plays out like NCLB, then schools and districts will be working mightily to stay just above the line that triggers a turnaround — an aspirational low bar for sure.

As part of these efforts, schools and districts will be reaching out for the helping hands of a variety of newly minted — or as is often the case, re-minted — programs and solutions.

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Developing Principals as Equity-centered Instructional Leaders

by UWCEL Feb 23, 2016

Over the past several years, we have become more keenly aware of the pervasive nature of opportunity and achievement gaps in many of the schools serving our most vulnerable students. These differences in opportunities, supports and outcomes represent some students’ limited access to excellence in all aspects of their education.

The challenge for principals is to ensure that each and every student has the opportunity to engage in a quality education experience. To meet this challenge, both equity and excellence must be driving forces in the leadership of schools. Principals must be equity-centered instructional leaders.

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