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CALL TO ACTION

How can we support leaders of color?

By Frederick Brown
April 2021
As we at Learning Forward continue to deepen our equity work, I have been reflecting on a troubling pattern I’ve seen throughout my career: Leaders of color, especially male leaders of color, are vastly underrepresented in schools and districts, even in systems with high percentages of students of color. When I was a school principal in the 1990s, I was the only male principal of color in the district. Later, when I was a senior program officer for The Wallace Foundation, one of the superintendents I supported, an African American man, told me he was struggling and hoping to find peers to connect with, but neither he nor I were very successful in making connections. With little support to be found, he left the district

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Seven domains of principal pipelines

  • Leader standards.
  • High-quality preservice principal preparation.
  • Selective hiring and placement of principals.
  • On-the-job evaluation and support.
  • Principal supervisors.
  • Leader tracking systems.
  • Systems and accountability.

To learn more, see www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/pages/principal-pipeline-self-study-guide-for-districts.aspx.


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Frederick Brown is Learning Forward’s chief learning officer | deputy, where he leads the association’s business services and membership teams as well as overseeing program content for the Learning Forward Academy and conferences and institutes.


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