COVID-19 as a Window for Equity-Oriented School Leadership

What Have we learned From Principals’ COVID-19 Response?




equity, principals, crisis leadership, K-12 education policy, COVID-19


This essay argues that principals' capacity to advance equity might have been constrained by pre-COVID conditions. Drawing on the emerging literature on school leadership during the pandemic, the current article discusses how principals' capacity to advance equity was expanded as a result of the window of opportunities created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the increased frequency at which schools experience crises, understanding these opportunities may allow stakeholders to better support principals' efforts to enact equity-oriented leadership practices. Implications for leadership preparation, school funding, accountability policies, and future research are discussed.


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Author Biography

Mario Jackson, North Carolina State University

Mario Jackson is a third-year doctoral candidate in the Education Evaluation and Policy Analysis program at North Carolina State University. Prior to this, he earned his undergraduate degree in Science Education (Biology) and a masters degree in Educational Management from the Mico University College in Kingston, Jamaica. His professional experience as a teacher of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics has since allowed him to teach across three different countries—Jamaica, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom. Currently, Mario is a research and teaching assistant for NC State’s Educational Leadership Academy (NELA). Mario’s research draws upon qualitative and quantitative methods to examine the intersection of educational policies and practices and (in)equity for students, and their learning outcomes. Mario’s research agenda is centered around advancing equity for marginalized groups through interrogating existing power structures that might perpetuate and or reinforce inequities, while also attending to school leaders’ capacity to challenge and resist these structures—leadership preparation.


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