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Growing Into Equity

Growing Into Equity
Professional Learning and Personalization in High-Achieving Schools

Foreword by Stephanie Hirsh and Joellen Killion

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July 2013 | 216 pages | Corwin
This book explores how educators at four schools learn, facilitate learning, and systemically grow into equity while personalizing instruction. It explores the professional learning, leadership, and systems that enable this to happen. The book features four high-performing, Title I schools and the practices and systems needed to personalize student and ongoing professional learning. It provides specific findings and guidance.

This book sets out to answer two questions:

- what does professional learning look like at school communities that are seeking to meet the needs of each learner?

- what leadership and systems enable professional learning that advances equity and personalization?

It helps educational leaders visualize, understand, guide, and sustain professional learning that helps educators attend to a range of unique student gifts and needs, and navigate the shift to providing individualized learning for all students. It provides an analysis of how leaders can support professional learning of teachers, a range of school teams, and the school community as a whole, in service of deepening equity-focused, individualized learning at every level.

About the Authors
1. The Case for Professional Learning to Support Equity and Personalization
Part I. Learning in Action: Four School Communities
2. Know Them by Name, Know Them by Need: Stults Road Elementary School (PreK-6), Dallas, Texas
3. Students First: Social Justice Humanitas Academy (Grades 9-12), Los Angeles, California
4. The Variables Are Time and Support: Montgomery Center School (PreK-8), Montgomery Center, Vermont
5. Heat and Light: Tusculum View Elementary School (PreK-5), Greeneville, Tennessee
Part II. Professional Learning to Advance Equity: Findings and Practices
6. Equity and Supporting Core Values
7. Personalized Adult and Student Learning
8. Leadership and Systems
9. Call to Action
Description of Online Resources


Companion Site
The purpose of this website is to provide you with additional information, links, templates, and tools that accompany Growing Into Equity. The authors have provided many tools here to support your success!

"Who says that schools can’t personalize learning, improve achievement, and provide an equitable and high-quality education for all students? As monumental as these goals may seem, they are possible. By highlighting four schools that do these things well, Sonia Caus Gleason and Nancy Gerzon provide a valuable lesson about personalized and equitable schooling and, in the process, remind us what public education should be about."

Sonia Nieto, Professor Emerita, Language, Literacy, and Culture
School of Education, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

"Gleason and Gerzon focus their lens on four 'regular' schools that are paying attention to the whole child and getting results.  In these school communities, professional learning for educators produces personalized learning for students. Growing Into Equity offers readers wonderful insights into the structures and strategies, time and talents it takes to make that happen."

Randi Weingarten, President
American Federation of Teachers

"Equity is not an afterthought to high achievement. Gleason and Gerzon's new book on outstanding equity-driven practice in four very different schools, shows that if you want to raise the bar, you have to start by narrowing the gap. From Tennessee to Vermont, from Dallas to LA, this attractively written, morally uplifting and deeply practical book shows how extraordinary schools address and achieve social justice by making learning personal and engaging for every student, and by ensuring that professional learning is stimulating and practical for every teacher."

Andy Hargreaves, Thomas More Brennan Chair in Education
Boston College

"Growing into Equity is a timely and important new book which provides compelling evidence of how teachers, principals, school district leaders, and policy makers can create and embrace equity in school districts, schools, and classrooms to ensure that all students are learning and achieving."

Thomas Payzant, Retired Superintendent
Boston Public Schools

"Excellence and equity in public school classrooms don't happen by accident. In this book Sonia Gleason and Nancy Gerzon use detailed examples to show how sensitive, thoughtful and courageous leaders build school communities that favor every learner, including not only every child, but also every adult."

Ronald F. Ferguson, Faculty Director of the Achievement Gap Initiative
Harvard University

"Growing into Equity is both instructive and inspiring. Gleason and Gerzon emphasize the importance of professional learning, collaboration, shared leadership and a strong sense of collective accountability that envisions every student achieving his/her potential through personalized instruction. Should be required reading for anyone interested in transforming schools."

Dennis Van Roekel, President
National Education Association

"In Growing into Equity: Personalized Learning for Teachers and Their Students, Gleason and Gerzon provide rich examples of school-based practices that optimize professional learning and provide students with personalized learning opportunities. The detailed, insightful case studies illustrate what a visible commitment to equity looks like in high-performing schools."

Bob Wise, President
Alliance for Excellent Education

"Growing into Equity dispels the notion of the principal or teacher as hero. It takes a team of people to raise achievement. It takes clarity of mission and vision.  We are never 'there' but always getting better-- asking better questions so we CAN get better..."

Linda Nathan, Executive Director
Center for Arts in Education, Boston, MA

"The authors delve into four schools located in California, Tennessee, Texas, and Vermont revealing how personalized learning promotes equity. Their discoveries provide an encouraging roadmap for K-12 educators in urban, suburban, or rural settings who wish to promote 'favoritism' for each student. The core belief that 'every child has a complex and compelling story as a person and as a learner' drives the need to personalize learning and the how-to is well documented in this break through work that provides hope The American Dream may still be realized through public education."

Kathleen Sciarrapa, Educational Consultant, Mentor, Trainer, and Coach for Principals and Aspiring Leaders
National Association of Elementary School Principals

"Growing into Equity provides an essential understanding of how critically important it is for schools to both create and sustain conscious willfulness and intentional practices among all stakeholders. Growing into Equity reminds us of the complexity of creating equitable learning opportunities in schools and at the same time provides diverse illustrations of personalized learning to move educators and students to that point."

Deborah Childs-Bowen, Chief Learning Officer
Alliance for Leadership in Education

Sample Materials & Chapters

Front Matter

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Sonia Caus Gleason

Nancy J. Gerzon

Nancy Gerzon has been supporting school districts to improve learning outcomes for two decades. As a senior research associate for Learning Innovations at WestEd, Nancy provides technical assistance, professional development, and administrative coaching to support school improvement and reform in New England and New York. Nancy's work is guided by an enduring interest in how educational systems support individual student and adult learning. She is passionate abotu helping schools and districts create systemic supports for teacher learning, effective teaming practices, helpful team facilitation, and supportive learning structures. Nancy has... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781452287652

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