Almost daily, education policymakers are reminded of the role that race and culture play in our society, yet they often lack opportunities for open, honest dialogue about their influence on teaching and learning.
The Leading for Equity and Excellence Program (LEEP) is a professional development resource for state policymakers committed to advancing equity in education. LEEP’s comprehensive educational programming and technical assistance builds the capacity of state boards to ensure equal access to excellent learning opportunities for all students. Participants learn to apply an equity lens to policymaking while increasing their capacity to engage in courageous conversations that identify root causes and strengthen state policy.
“[LEEP] sessions directed me to have more courage to have conversations about race, equity, and collaboration with state board members, DOE staff, and legislators.” – LEEP Participant
With passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the primary responsibility for ensuring education equity shifted to state policymakers. LEEP represents the next level of NASBE’s commitment to promote high-quality education for all students by building the capacity of state board members to recognize and address inequities in meaningful, systemic ways. Since its inception in 2017, LEEP has coached state board members representing 15 states and the District of Columbia. What could be different in your equity leadership if you were able to better engage diverse perspectives during decision making?
The LEEP National Cohort is for individual state board members looking for a shared learning experience with a diverse community of professionals from around the country. During the eight-week course, participants build their capacity to identify personal core values for leadership; engage different perspectives while recognizing their own biases; examine the influence of political ideologies, cultural perceptions, and economic structures on public education; and assess strategies to remove structural barriers and close achievement gaps.
The LEEP State Policy Network fosters collaboration between state boards, state education agencies, and other state and local leaders working to advance equity. State teams hear from national experts, participate in peer-to-peer discussions, and receive customized training and technical assistance to help them engage different perspectives and strengthen their collective role. Participants say they appreciate the opportunities LEEP offers to learn from others and develop the confidence to engage in tough conversations about educational equity.
Services are offered through direct consultation with one of our subject matter experts and delivered through one-on-one discussions, small-group facilitation, or customized online training.
Participants should be able to participate in each of the four meetings (virtual and in person) and be able to complete all assignments. Participants will be selected based on their demonstrated commitment to equity, openness to exploring issues of race and culture in education, and leadership potential after the course.