Educational Leadership Program
The aim of the Educational Leadership Program (EDL) is to train the next generation of
culturally diverse professional field (practitioner) and academic thinkers, researchers, and change
agents differently and better. The goal is to address persistent issues and emerging problems of
educational leadership practices in order to improve the human condition, particularly for
children, through education in schools and communities of the Southwest and the Nation.
In an enriched intellectual environment, a more diverse faculty and diverse graduate students
understand and approach educational challenges with profound implications for 21st Century leaders.
Leaders’ challenges include taking on new demands of educating multicultural and transnational
children and youth in which non-whites make-up the majority of K-12 public school enrollment and no
ethno-racial group will be the majority enrollment by mid-century. Concomitantly, faculty and
graduate students focus on success and effectiveness models of leadership in schools that create
culturally responsive engagement of teachers and staff to improve equality of educational
opportunities for children from different family backgrounds, socioeconomic groups, ethnicity,
race, gender, language, disability, religion, gifted and talented, immigrant status, and sexual
With faculty, graduate students practice and study the charge for leaders’ democratic, justice, and
moral purpose. The charge is to help close the achievement gap and expand educational equity; to
confront schisms between segregated and desegregated PK-12 schools, separate and unequal schools,
private and charter public schools, unequal school resources and teacher effectiveness; and, to
interrogate consequences of intergenerational divisions between the rich and the poor, the
privileged and disadvantaged, challenges which are tenacious in schools, and echoed in families and
children’s unequal social mobility.
***The EDL faculty strongly condemns what happened in Charlottesville, VA. As the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, and other “alt-right” groups, abrade the fabric of our diverse democracy and fight for an America devoid of immigrants, African Americans, Jews, Muslims, LGBTQ members, and other groups, we, in no uncertain terms, take a stand against such violence, bigotry, racism, and xenophobia. Our program is devoted to educational equity and social justice, and we continue to believe that educational leaders and policy makers can play important roles in fostering safe, informed, and supportive communities. We are here to help foster vigorous dialogues and robust intellectual examination regarding how leaders and policy makers can make a difference, and we continue to adapt our curriculum to meet historical and contemporary issues regarding differences and inequity across race, class, gender, sexuality, language, and religion.
Educational Leadership Faculty
Dr. Laura K. Bosworth, Professor and Smith Endowed Chair
Dr. Lynnette Brunderman, Professor of Practice
Dr. Kevin Henry, Assistant Professor
Dr. Jill Koyama, Associate Professor
Dr. Francesca Lopez, Associate Professor
Dr. John Taylor, Professor
Dr. Jill Koyama. See A School District's Role in Supporting and Educating Refugees
Dr. Kris Bosworth. See $4.9 Million Grant for Improving School Climate
Dr. Rose Ylimaki and Dr. Brunderman. See AZiLDR Develops School Leadership Teams for Continuous Improvement
Dr. John Taylor published an important chapter on colorisms with EDL students, Dr. Suzanne Desjardin, Dr. Irene Robles-Lopez, and Charita Johnson Stubbs. See From Colored People to Students of Color
Faculty Publications, click here!
Debbie Bergman was inducted into the Sunnyside School Districts Hall of Fame. As part of her induction, they put together this video about Debbie’s history of outstanding work that I thought you all would like to see: https://youtu.be/kSrh3SR0ihM
When Arizona eliminated MAS with HB 2281, despite documented success of students who participated in the classes, José and Norma challenged the state, jeopardizing their livelihood to advocate on the rights of students to have access to their history and contributions in the curriculum. In retaliation, they, along with the other MAS teachers, were criminalized by the state for creating a program that was demonstrated to be successful in narrowing achievement disparities and increasing access to secondary education.
The implications of HB 228 were, for Norma and José, profound. They were not allowed to use the curriculum they had already created or to develop any curriculum that deviated from the district’s adopted scripted curriculum. Norma was transferred out of the middle school where she taught and was placed in a classroom as an assistant to a teacher. José was moved to a teaching assignment in the East side of town (where student demographics are not predominantly Mexican) to teach a course he was not certified to teach. He was also assigned a “teacher-coach” by the district, to “improve” his teaching. When the teacher coach observed his pedagogy and expertise, she was perplexed as to why she was assigned to him. Furthermore, Norma and José were told by the district that representative of the state could walk in to their classes at any moment and deem them out of compliance, thereby not only threatening them, but also jeopardizing district funding.
With the chaos brought on by the elimination of MAS, both professionally and privately, Norma and José took a leave from their doctoral studies. We are thrilled that they have since returned to their doctoral studies. To the Educational Leadership and Policy doctoral program, they bring rich histories and experiences as educator-activists, and the students and faculty in the program look forward to learning from, and with, them. We congratulate them for their work in MAS and applaud the ways in which their work for equitable education and justice has already transformed the lives of so many students and their families. Please join us in recognizing their commitment and their important role in what led to the initial August 22, 2017 ruling that the state of Arizona violated students’ rights by banning a Mexican-American studies program in TUSD.
With much respect,
Dr. Francesca López and Dr. Jill Koyama