Equity-Based Leadership

Equity-Based Leadership Leveraging Complexity to Transform School Systems

Joshua P. Starr
paper, 260 Pages
Pub. Date: May 2022
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-728-2
Price: $35.00

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Pub. Date: May 2022
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-729-9

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With a visionary approach to school improvement, Equity-Based Leadership proposes a framework to support system leaders seeking to organize change and achieve more equitable education.


This book is full of concrete examples that provide practical guidance on how to bring coherence to change efforts, starting with classroom instruction. Starr’s approach is detailed and nuanced, rooted in an understanding of the complex issues that frequently obstruct efforts to bring about improvement. For educators seeking to advance education for all students, this book will be helpful and undoubtedly an invaluable resource. — Pedro A. Noguera, Emery Stoops and Joyce King Stoops Dean, Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California

Equity-Based Leadership provides a blueprint for future-driven teaching and learning. Joshua P. Starr points out that in order to capture a vision of equity-focused education, school leaders must take bold steps to rewrite the rule book to create conditions for success. — Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA, the School Superintendents Association

Joshua P. Starr shows how school district superintendents can and must be main drivers of change at that scale. His real-world examples—including those from his own leadership across several districts—illustrate superintendents rolling up their sleeves and working alongside staff and community members to rewrite the old rules in ways that move teaching and learning to center stage. — Meredith I. Honig, director of the District Leadership Design Lab and professor of education policy, organizations, and leadership, University of Washington

Delivers big on the promise to leverage complexity through thoughtful, bold, and strategic leadership. Most importantly, the book provides a rare and unique window into the incredible nuances, challenges, and contradictions of superintendency. — Teachers College Record

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About the Author

Dr. Joshua P. Starr has been the chief executive officer of PDK International since July 2015. Since then, PDK has celebrated more than 50 years of the PDK Poll and 100 years of Kappan magazine. Under Dr. Starr, PDK launched Educators Rising across the nation, the first national CTE program that puts high school students on the path to becoming teachers. Educators Rising is addressing the national teacher shortage while diversifying the profession through its high school chapters, curriculum, microcredentials, and competitions. Fifty-two percent of Educators Rising participants identify as students of color. Dr. Starr has also overseen the establishment of Educators Rising Collegiate, increased foundation support for all of PDK’s programs, and renewed support for PDK members and other educators. He is the author of numerous essays, book chapters, and op-eds and writes a monthly column, “On Leadership,” for Kappan.

Prior to joining PDK, Dr. Starr was superintendent of schools in Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland for nearly four years and previously superintendent of schools for Stamford, Connecticut, for six years. As a superintendent, Dr. Starr lead system-wide transformation efforts grounded in equity, excellence, and engagement. Dr. Starr began his career teaching Global Studies to high school special education students in Brooklyn, New York. He became a central office leader in school districts in the New York metropolitan area, including the New York City Department of Education.

Dr. Starr has a bachelor’s degree in English and history from the University of Wisconsin, a master’s degree in special education from Brooklyn College, and a master’s and doctorate in education from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Dr. Starr and his wife have three children who have gone through public schools.

Table of Contents


E-book available through online booksellers

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