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Equity Visits

Equity Visits
A New Approach to Supporting Equity-Focused School and District Leadership

  • Rachel Roegman - University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, USA
  • David Allen - Texas Christian University, US & University of Warwick, UK
  • Larry Leverett - Panasonic Foundation, Inc.
  • Scott Thompson - Panasonic Foundation, Inc.
  • Thomas Hatch - Professor, Teachers College, Columbia University and Director, National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools, & Teaching (NCREST)

Foreword by Edward Fergus, A Joint Publication with Phi Delta Kappa

Additional resources:

September 2019 | 192 pages | Corwin

Because equity and instruction are inextricably bound

Why are equity visits such a critical first step to increasing opportunity and access for our under-served students? Because they take instructional rounds to a new level, providing a powerful lens for investigating the intersections of equity and instruction. After all, how can we possibly deliver equitable learning experiences, opportunities, and outcomes for our students, without first pinpointing problems of practice?

That’s where Equity Visits will prove absolutely indispensable to district and school administrators. It details how to combine a strong focus on instruction with explicit, intentional efforts to address systemic inequities. Inside you’ll find

  • A range of data collection activities and tools to target central issues of equity in your school
  • Clear guidelines on how to investigate the ways instructional practices, structures, and beliefs lead to inequitable educational experiences—and how these are often masked in the day-to-day life of schools and districts
  • A frank discussion of how to make race and racism an explicit part of investigating and addressing educational inequities
  • Voices of school and district leaders who have taken crucial first steps to become “equity warriors”
  • Recommendations on how to develop policies, initiatives, and practices to confront those inequities

Few dispute that instructional improvement must be a central focus of educational leadership, but for too long achieving educational equity has been absent from the conversation. Here is your opportunity to ensure equity occupy a central spot in data collection and analysis, and be explicitly discussed at all levels of your school or district organization. In short, essential reading and doing for all administrators!

List of Figures
Foreword by Edward Fergus
About the Authors
INTRODUCTION • Needed: Equity-Focused Leaders
Leading for Equity in a Segregated State

Defining Equity-Focused Leadership

Developing Equity-Focused Leadership in New Jersey

Putting Equity and Instruction at the Center: Equity Visits

Overview of the Book

CHAPTER 1 • Developing Equity Visits
Missing: The Integration of Equity and Instruction

Shifting from Instruction to Equity and Instruction

Learning Lessons Across the Eras

CHAPTER 2 • A Detailed Look at Equity Visits
Core Elements of an Equity Visit

Revisiting the Core Elements

CHAPTER 3 • Equity-Focused Learning Communities
Learning About Equity in a Community

Putting Together Organizational Components of Sustained Learning Communities

Drawing on Organizational Tools

Building Supports for Equity-Focused Learning and Practice

CHAPTER 4 • Talking About Race and Racism
Acknowledging Race in PreK–12 Schools

Talking About Race in PreK–12 Schools

Different Challenges for Leaders of Color and for White Leaders

Challenges to Making Race Central to Discussions of Equity in Schools

Keeping Race at the Center of the Discussion

CHAPTER 5 • Lessons for Leaders Ready to Integrate Equity and Instruction
Implications for Individuals

Implications for School and Districts as Organizations

Implications for Leadership Preparation and Professional Development


Appendix A: Participating Superintendents and Their Districts

Appendix B: Resources

Appendix C: Tools for Conducting Equity Visits

Appendix D: Protocols



Equity Visits provides practitioners with yet-another important tool that weaves together the elements of school structures that still require systematic dismantling as well as advancing the mental models of equity leadership vitally important for sustaining this work.”

Edward Fergus, Author of "Solving Disproportionality and Achieving Equity"

"Educational leaders will benefit from a deep dive into equitable systems with a focus on instructional practice explored in this book. The authors provide a wealth of practical strategies and step-by-step processes to implement Equity Visits."

Eddie Ruiz, Assistant Superintendent Student Services, Equity & Access, School District of Palm Beach County

"Real equity work is about identifying, responding and transforming structures, policies, procedures, behaviors, and biases that denied access and opportunities to underserved students. The authors of Equity Visits provide a step in that direction. Having put 11 years of research and extensive fieldwork behind this project, the book provides a framework that spells out the specific steps in the process.  It also provides protocols, samples, templates, and many other tools to facilitate its implementation."

Waldo V. Alvarado, Director of Equity & Diversity, Reading School District

"The framework laid out in Equity Visits provides an extension to learning walks and instructional rounds that will deepen outcomes for participants and their schools. The tools and ideas presented in this manuscript are practical and provide guidance that facilitators and district teams can utilize."

Ellen S. Perconti, Superintendent, Grapeview School Districts

"Equity Visits is a long overdue addition to the literature regarding equity and inclusion.  It tackles complex issues that underlie the persistent underachievement of marginalized students and provides a leadership framework that supports system improvements."

Maria G. Ott, Ph.D., Professor of Clinical Education, University of Southern California- Rossier School of Education

"Schools need tools to take a deep look at equity issues and take concrete actions. Leaders need guidance as well. Equity Visits takes a strong equity-anti-racist focus and provides concrete strategies at the system level as well as instructional strategies, courageous leadership, and a process for gathering and analyzing important data."

Becki Cohn-Vargas, Ed.D, Educational Consultant, Coach, and Author, Cohn-Vargas Consulting

"Equity Visits provides an innovative practice to support district and school leaders as they address inequities in the schools and in the classrooms. The inclusion of practical tools and resources that can be adapted by readers as they embark on and carry out their own work on the topic are especially useful for practitioners out in the field."

Carmella S. Franco, Ph.D, Author of "A Culturally Proficient Society Begins in School"

"Whether we like to admit it or not, student achievement, college entrance rates, etc. are unequal among subgroups of students.  Our society in general is not giving our students, or us as educators, good models of how to talk about and address the issues.  Equity Visits offers is a structure to realize the inequities that happen, a protocol to start collaborating in finding solutions, and a method for starting to accept and discuss the issue to find solutions using a team approach."

Leslie Standerfer, High School Principal, Estrella Foothills High School

"Building on the concept of Instructional Rounds and the work of Courageous Conversations, Equity Visits is the perfect resource for schools and districts that are looking for ways to go deeper into race and equity in learning and keen to make an impact in their classrooms and schools."

Sarah Zabel, Principal, Astor School

"The work shared in Equity Visits will help educators to be more purposeful in their work around providing equitable experiences for all students. The authors' approachable and informative writing style, their extensive research, and the inclusion of stories from fellow leaders make this work a more collaborative and reflective process. Doing Equity Visits will result in more positive outcomes in school improvements."

Lena Marie Rockwood Assistant Principal, Revere Public Schools

Rachel D. Roegman

Rachel Roegman is an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership in the Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her research examines the support and development of equity-focused leaders. Her work has been influenced by her experiences as a middle school teacher in traditional and alternative schools in the San Francisco Unified School District, and her commitment to anti-racist, equity-focused practice. More About Author

David Allen

David Allen is an Associate Professor of English Education at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York (CUNY). His research focuses on how groups collaborate and create together, in schools and other settings. His most recent books include Protocols in the Classroom: Tools to Help Students Read, Write, Think, & Collaborate (with Tina Blythe, Alan, Dichter, and Terra Lynch, Teachers College Press), Facilitating for Learning: Tools for Teacher Groups of All Kinds (with Tina Blythe, Teachers College Press) and Powerful Teacher Learning: What the Theatre Arts Teach about Collaboration (Rowman & Littlefield... More About Author

Larry Leverett

Larry Leverett is one of the co-founders of NJNS and the former Executive Director of the Panasonic Foundation, a corporate foundation with a mission of partnering with public school systems and their communities to break the links between race, poverty, and educational outcomes so that all students are improving academically and socially. Prior to that, he was a school superintendent in Greenwich, Connecticut and Plainfield, New Jersey. Dr. Leverett is also a former district superintendent in Englewood, New Jersey, Plainfield, New Jersey, and Greenwich, Connecticut. More About Author

Scott T. Thompson

Scott Thompson is one of the co-founders of NJNS and served as Assistant Executive Director of the Panasonic Foundation for 22 years. His publications include Leading from the Eye of the Storm: Spirituality and Public School Improvement (Roman & Littlefield Education) and numerous chapters, articles, and reviews. Prior to joining Panasonic Foundation, Thompson was Director of Dissemination and Project Development at the Institute for Responsive Education, where he edited the national journal, New Schools, New Communities, published in collaboration with Corwin Press. More About Author

Thomas C. Hatch

Thomas Hatch (@tch960) is a Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University and Director of the National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools, and Teaching (NCREST). His research includes studies of school improvement efforts at the school, district, and national levels. His latest book, The Education We Need for a Future We Can’t Predict (Corwin, 2021), focuses on efforts to create more powerful learning experiences both inside and outside schools in developed and developing contexts. He is also the founder and managing editor of He previously served as a Senior Scholar at the Carnegie... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781544338132