D’Andre Weaver Transforms Schools Through a Commitment to Equity and Social Justice

作为德州北部德索托ISD的主管, D 'Andre Weaver所做的决定影响超过8人,000名学生和1名学生,12个校区的000名员工. And at every opportunity, he uses his leadership from the top to affect widespread, positive change. 

“我们正在发展这种多元文化, social justice-oriented and culturally responsive pre-K through college curriculum model that really gives kids representation of themselves,” Dr. 韦弗说. “It will help orientate them into this moment in time that they live in and the world they’re going to inherit.” 

这个课程计划只是Dr. Weaver works toward his ultimate aim: achieving educational equity for all students, 不管背景. This passion—leading and empowering students—has been present throughout his career as a teacher, 校长和主管. 

事实上,博士. 韦弗对增长和公平的承诺从很小的时候就开始了. As an eighth grader at Joseph Moore Elementary School on the South Side of Chicago, 他受到一位相信他潜力的老师的启发. 

“Carolyn Curry, who was like my second mom, really made sure that I had many of my needs met. 当我要上高中的时候, she advocated for me to get into a school that was much more connected to my skills and talents. 她恳求着,校长听着.”

“从那时起,我就知道我想成为一名主管,”韦弗说. “我想成为那个为其他孩子做决定的人.” 

在成为德索托ISD的主管之前, Dr. Weaver enacted high-quality learning and equitable education as a teacher and principal. 

他的经历开始于Champaign第四单元的学校, 伊利诺斯州, where he worked as an English teacher for five years: “I met a lot of great leaders who led the school system and created opportunities for me to learn what it meant to really be an educator. I learned about how to solve systems and address inequities that exist in the public education system.”

决定是时候组建家庭了, he and his wife moved back to Chicago where he became the assistant principal of Walter Payton College Prep. 在排名第一的学校工作. 1 in the city provided him with important insight on how to execute the highest standards of learning. 

“我学到了很多关于学习可以是什么的东西,”韦弗分享道. “I still love that community and am in contact with a lot of the folks there.”

凭借他在学校的领导经验. Weaver combined everything he had learned at Champaign and Walter Payton and returned to his roots to become principal of Gwendolyn Brooks, a selective enrollment public high school on Chicago’s South Side serving a predominantly Black and Latinx population.

在那里, his ability to help and impact disadvantaged students grew tremendously when he led his team through the implementation of personalized learning.

“Personalized learning is about students learning anytime and anywhere,” Weaver explained. “It needs to be appropriately rigorous for where students are according to their data. 它需要给学生提供自己学习的机会. In that process, teachers need to evaluate how they’re supporting students’ specific needs.” 

For him, the best part of this experience was seeing teachers execute it without him. “It’s kind of beyond one’s wildest dreams of what can happen in a school that really focuses on the right things.”

后来,博士. 韦弗总结了他的经验 这是他第一次担任社区负责人. 他在那里工作了一段时间之后. Weaver heard of another opportunity to take what he had accomplished in Chicago and implement personalized learning on a district level.

“当我第一次在德索托读到这个学区时, 德州, 这让我想起了格温德林·布鲁克斯, 但规模更大. This is one of the few communities in 德州 with a significantly high African American and Latinx population.”

在他任期开始的时候, the school district was one of the only districts in North 德州 with a D rating on 德州’ A-F school rating system. But by the end of his first year in 2018, the district’s rating increased to a C+.

“当时有经济、学术和文化方面的挑战。. 韦弗说. “We’ve spent – and will still spend – a lot of our time these past two years repairing those things. If our foundation is not solid at all, we have nothing to start building upon.” 

今天,博士. Weaver remains devoted to working toward making this equitable foundation a reality in his district. 

他的大部分工作. 韦弗说, must involve students and their families: “If we’re designing for students and families, then they also need to be given a seat at the table and be empowered to co-create with us.”

This co-creation and empowerment was specifically important this spring, about which Dr. 韦弗说: “I think this COVID-19 situation put us in a position where we have a moment to drastically shift our work and actually do some of the forward thinking and redesigning systems’ structures.”

“There are partners available and there’s potential funding that’s helping us be in the driver seat to some of the change that we know needs to take place. 我们现在正处于一个有趣的位置,我们正试图最大化这一时刻.”

工作与家庭, 开发新的课程模式, 挑战电力系统——这些都是Dr. 韦弗充分利用了他作为领袖的每一刻. 

He said about the bigger picture: “My work is about creating an experience that’s intellectually coherent, 这是严格的, but that is tailored to each student equally and upholds this idea that learning should be joyous and kids should have fun and they should find their passion. 学校通常不会这样做,也不是对每个人都适用. 我们正在坚持一个能够做到这一切的模式.”

在他的文章中可以看到他的完整想法: “Breaking systemic racism starts by reforming public education: why are we so committed to an educational system that has failed?”