Capital Improvements on Principal Leadership
This individual case study is part of a larger group study examining how principals benefit from and shape professional capital to improve schools. A pressing demand on principals is not only hiring more educators of color, but also ensuring they are retaining them. Previous research tends to focus on the strategies and tools that will lead educators of color to enter the profession; however, educators of color are leaving at higher rates than their White counterparts. Using data comprised of interviews of seven educators of color and eight principals from a large, urban school district in Massachusetts, this qualitative case study explores the leadership strategies, if any, principals use to promote the retention of their educators of color in the Elody School District and why these educators of color remain in the district. My analyses, framed through a critical race theory lens, focus on the shared experiences of these educators who come from different buildings within their district. My findings are split into sections, in accordance with my research questions. First, the principals interviewed believed they employed specific strategies to retain their educators of color. These strategies included acknowledging race, breaking down racist structures that prevent their educators of color from advancing, and amplifying the voices of their educators of color ensuring, regardless of their role, they have a voice, are heard, and are supported within their staffs that consist of a majority White educators. Second, these educators of color stayed because they believed it was important their students saw educators who looked like them. They also stayed because they believed their principals valued their knowledge and experience. Centering voices that are generally understudied, this inquiry adds to the growing body of knowledge that leads to retaining educators of color.