PPS Receives $8.2 million Grant to Build Equity-Centered Principal Pipeline10/7/2021
Portland Public Schools is one of eight U.S. school districts chosen to receive an $8.2 million, five-year grant from the Wallace Foundation to build an equity-centered pipeline for hiring and training principals. The grant will support the district in further accelerating progress on its racial equity and social justice commitments to students and the larger PPS community.
“It is important that every student has the opportunity to observe school leaders that are representative of our diverse community,” said PPS Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero. “Our students of color in particular benefit when they see themselves reflected in school leaders, they see possibility, opportunity and belonging.”
Building on strong evidence that comprehensive, aligned principal pipelines can improve student achievement districtwide, PPS will collaborate to build pathways that produce school leaders capable of advancing the school system’s community-developed vision and district strategic plan. The grant will allow PPS to focus on preparing and training principals with tools and strategies to promote racial equity, strategically recruiting and hiring equity-centered principal candidates, and fostering inclusive environments that will set-up principals for success and long-term retention.
PPS will partner with Portland State University, Lewis & Clark College, Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC), and the Oregon Educator Advancement Council (EAC) to build a shared definition of racial equity in school leadership and prepare a strong equity-centered leadership pipeline to work and serve at PPS, while providing an important demonstration that could inform statewide efforts.
“The Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission has redesigned the Oregon School Leadership Standards to emphasize the responsibility of principals to champion equitable learning environments and student success in their schools,” said Anthony Rosilez, J.D, Ph.D., executive director of TSPC. “Participation in this nationally recognized initiative will greatly inform the creation of a comprehensive framework for the preparation of school leaders throughout the entire state of Oregon.”
In a shared statement, Portland State University and Lewis & Clark shared: "This five-year grant will disrupt historic patterns in our education system by better preparing equity-centered leaders in our schools. We look forward to partnering with PPS to engage in more innovative and transformative practices that will make a meaningful difference in the lives of students."
Research has shown that school principals can have a significant impact on a student’s experience and academic outcomes. The Wallace Foundation will conduct research on grantee strategies and successes as part of the grant to help inform and add to the growing national dialog on how to improve equity leadership in public education.
PPS joins seven other U.S. school districts in receiving the grant, including Baltimore City Public Schools (Maryland), Columbus City (Ohio), District of Columbia Public Schools (Washington, D.C.), Fresno Unified School District (California), Jefferson County School District (K.Y.) and San Antonio Independent School District (Texas).