The Urban Review

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 96–111 | Cite as

The Tensions Between Shared Governance and Advancing Educational Equity



This article examines the relationship between shared governance and one school district’s (in)ability to advance educational equity. Specifically, we consider the district’s policies, discourse, and practice around equity within the context of site-based management and shared decision making. We suggest that if equity is indeed a major district responsibility, then it seems inconsistent to leave equity at the mercy of shared governance and occasional externally-imposed mandates because most individual school leaders and educators are not currently taking up this agenda or implementing changes that would result in equitable education. Thus, our work suggests that progress toward educational equity may best be achieved through top-down, directive leadership in districts.


Shared governance Educational equity Site based management Shared decision making Distributed leadership Directive leadership Social justice leadership 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Educational Leadership and FoundationsNorthern Arizona UniversityFlagstaffUSA
  2. 2.Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, College of EducationEastern Kentucky UniversityRichmondUSA

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