Main Feb 2019
  • Presidents Message

  • One Step Back and Another One Forward  



    Dear Colleagues:


    I have used my initial messages to you to introduce the topic of educational equity and its power to sharpen our Association’s vision and action. I would like to further this dialogue by taking one step back and another one forward.


    The step back is to offer a working definition of equity. This is not easy to do, as it evolves depending on cultural context. That said, here is one effort that strikes me as particularly relevant:


    Educational equity means that every student has access to the
    educational resources and rigor they need at the right moment
    in their education across race, gender, ethnicity, language, disability,
    sexual orientation, family background and/or family income.

    Leading for Equity: Opportunities for State Education Chiefs,
    Council of Chief State School Officers, 2017.


    This gets to the heart of our work: using our voice to achieve a vision of equity for all New Jersey students. To reach that end for students, we must also use our voice to serve the needs of our diverse communities, our school leaders, and our association members.


    The step forward is to illustrate what NJASA is already doing in the name of equity in the hopes that you find some avenues that appeal to your interests and encourage you to get involved. Here’s a Top Ten list:


    1. Partnering with the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Education Leadership on the New Jersey Consortia for Excellence Through Equity, a network of school districts committed to recognizing and eliminating institutional barriers to allow all students’ increasing inclusion in, and opportunities to access, the best of what our districts have to offer.

    2. Collaborating with major statewide education organizations on issues that have implications for student equity such as graduation requirements, state assessment, educator evaluation, and unpacking the student learning standards. 

    3. Assembling a resource bank of available, worthwhile student equity sources for academic learning, social-emotional learning, family, and community.

    4. Promoting research-based practices to enhance equity such as community schools, preschool expansion, shared services, etc.

    5. Focusing on equity topics during our upcoming major professional development and networking events: Women’s Leadership Conference on March 14-15; Equity Conference sponsored by Scholastic on March 29; and Spring Leadership Conference on May 15-17.

    6. Supporting new superintendents through mentor relationships, specially-designed meeting sessions, and network opportunities.

    7. Differentiating leadership development by experience of leaders: those in the early phase of their path (1-4 years), those with experience (5-10 years), and those master leaders (11+ years).

    8. Providing sessions within existing NJASA conferences for developing effective résumés, preparing for successful interviews, and understanding the array of provisions that are available for administrative contracts.

    9. Examining how to improve leadership opportunities for female, minority, and non-superintendent members.

    10. Advocating for full state funding of extraordinary special education costs for all districts and tax cap waivers for those who lose state aid.


    We welcome your thoughts and your active participation in furthering our shared vision.



    Dr. G. Kennedy Greene

    NJASA President