Strong leaders give students a running start at achieving their boldest aspirations!

Dec 3, 2020

By Quincy Boyd
Regional Director
Leadership ISD – Harris County

This year has positioned our starting blocks far off track, but we are still running the race. There’s an elevated concern for student learning gaps brought on in part by the current health crisis, and adults simply cannot drop the baton or false start. Disqualification could have long-term effects on our students, so we need strong leaders now more than ever.

If this year has taught us anything, it’s that race absolutely matters and that adult behaviors are inextricably linked to student outcomes. Leadership ISD (LISD) works at the intersection of educational excellence and racial equity because we believe that is where true transformation happens.

We’re fiercely optimistic about the future of public education and the potential for success, yet deeply concerned by the systemic disparities in both inputs and outcomes for students of color in our area school districts. These concerns are addressed by equipping community leaders to advance public education through advocacy, policy, and school board governance.

School boards play a critical role and are a key lever to moving districts away from antiquated practices and towards equitable school systems that ensure all students thrive. We encourage school board leaders to engage with their communities effectively and collaboratively to help improve results for their students.

Transforming School Districts with Engaged School Boards

In order to advance educational excellence for Black and Latinx children in our districts, LISD focuses on four areas that create the framework for the cycle of transformation.

1. Inform: Informing the electorate on the importance of effective School Boards as partners with our community.

2. Cultivate: LISD cultivates diverse leaders and provides them with an in-depth look at the issues in our education ecosystem through a racial equity lens.

3. Prepare: LISD’s governance training aims to prepare candidates to govern, not just campaign. Whether you participate in one of our Fellowships, or in an LISD Academy, our comprehensive training focuses on board behaviors most conducive to improvements in student outcomes.

4. Support: School boards are a critical component of systemic transformation in education. They govern our state’s nearly 1,300 school districts and are at the top of the decision-making chain. While many school boards have stuck to the status quo, LISD is cultivating a next generation of trustees who are prepared and committed to identifying policies and practices in our school systems that need to be dismantled and recreated through an anti-racist lens.

Are you ready to get involved?

A few weeks ago, we launched a community survey to learn more about the attitudes and actions around public education across Harris County. We received hundreds of responses representing more than 100 zip codes. If you would like to submit your feedback, please do so on our Leadership ISD website.

We also encourage community members who care about education, to participate in an upcoming Academy or consider applying to one of our Civic Voices Fellowships. The fellowship programs allow members to interact with others who are passionate about influencing systemic change, and share ideas that contribute to the common goal of excellent public education for all students.

This work cannot be done alone. It will take all of us to accelerate forward and ensure there’s equitable education for all students across Harris County. The marathon continues. Join us!