Background on this Tool
Most strategies that are currently used in the field to evaluate principal performance largely overlook the policies and practices principals develop and implement that enhance the success of students of students of diverse racial, cultural and linguistic backgrounds. When evaluation instruments do pay attention to diversity and equity, they often focus on dispositions and outcomes that are difficult to measure (e.g., “Fosters a culture of inclusiveness”).
The Diversity Responsive Principal Tool (DRPT) focuses on whether principals have taken actions to create and sustain opportunities for all students to learn at high levels. While these policies and practices are especially important for the academic success of diverse students, they benefit all students.
Guidance on How to Leverage this Tool
The DRPT is intended to encourage attention to actions principals can take to improve the learning opportunities of all students. The DRPT is formative—not summative—in purpose, and the ultimate goal for the use of the tool is for principals to be able to respond with “Always” for each essential characteristic of schools that are responsive to the diverse needs of the students and adults on their campus. Given this formative purpose, the identified leadership behaviors outlined in the tool are accompanied by: (1) an overview of research on the efficacy of these policies and practices and (2) resources related to implementing these policies and practices that can be used to guide professional development or support discussions of the behaviors highlighted in the DRPT.
A school leader should use this tool not once, but at key points in the school year to consistently ‘check-in’ on the progress of their actions toward goals for diversity responsiveness.
Getting Started with the Diversity Responsive Principal Tool
Within the tool, there are 9 actions that support diversity responsive schools. The first section of the tool is a section for reflection on actions that a school leader would complete, determining a rating for each. The descriptors within each action are highly detailed, leaving little room for misinterpretation, and making it easier for a leader to reflect clearly.
After reflecting on the 9 actions for diversity responsiveness there are sections for each action that detail examples of supporting research and relevant resources. The supporting research outlines the need for each action by making connections to student outcomes. The relevant resources for each action allow for a leader to dig deep and build skill in very specific areas of need. They include briefs, tool-kits, guides, and videos for all of the recommended actions.
Reference: Reprinted with permission of Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center. www.tolerance.org