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Latina/o School Administrators and the Intersectionality of Professional Identity and Race:

Latina/o School Administrators and the Intersectionality of Professional Identity and Race: This study examines the intersectionality between professional identities and race/ethnicity among Latina/o school leaders. Stemming from a larger study at the National Latina/o Leadership Project, we examine the contributions of Latina/o school administrators in the state of Texas in relation to their leadership in K-12 schools. Two hundred twenty-six respondents inform this study. Descriptive and content analyses of data revealed that the intersectionality of race and class as influencing the work of school administrators and described how, among major influences, their own schooling experiences had an impact in the development of their professional identities. Keywords educational administration, leadership and policy, education, social sciences, race/gender, education theory and practice, educational research, Latino/a sociology, sociology of race and ethnicity, sociology The new century brought to light social justice issues related identity and race/ethnicity. Stemming from a larger study at to the improvement of schools in America (Bogotch, Beachum, the National Latina/o Leadership Project, we examine the Blount, Brooks, & English, 2008; Horsford, 2009; Jean-Marie, contributions of Latina/o school administrators in the state of Normore, & Brooks, 2009; Murakami & Hernandez, 2013; Texas in relation to their leadership in K-12 schools. The Theoharis, 2009). Beyond high expectations for academic per- knowledge acquired during formative years informs how formance, scholars indicated the importance of considering school leaders can capitalize their experiences and use it to school leaders to be prepared to foster the development of “a inform the development of a professional identity. multicultural, multiethnic, multi-religious, and multinational society” (Jean-Marie et al., 2009, p. 2). Within their prepara- Purpose of the Study tion, there is a pressing responsibility to prepare leaders who can create participatory venues conducive to equitable oppor- The purpose of this study is to examine the experiences of tunities for students—as well as teachers, families, and col- Latina/o school administrators in Texas. In consideration is leagues in education. the principals’ intersectionality between professional iden- Important considerations for school leaders include their tity and race. Scribner and Crow (2012) indicated the preparation and experiences growing up as a student them- importance of professional identity in research on school selves. Narratives showing an intersection between being a leaders as it relates to their role beyond the development of student and later becoming a school leader are particularly technical skills. Professional identity relates to the multiple poignant. Horsford (2009), for example, examined the effects identities that shape leaders, and the nature of their leader- of segregation and desegregation from an African American ship in relation to the populations they serve. The essence who later became a school superintendent. Of relevance here is the pipeline from student to professional. It is important to University of North Texas, Denton, USA not only advocate for social justice among students but also 2 Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX, USA guarantee the preparation of these students in a possible path Texas Tech University, Lubbock, USA to serve in education professions as teachers, counselors, and Corresponding Author: school administrators. Elizabeth Murakami, College of Education, University of North Texas, In this study of Latina/o leaders, we developed an exami- Matthews Hall MATT 218-H, Denton, TX 76203-1277, USA. nation of the intersectionality between the professional Email: elizabeth.murakami@unt.edu Creative Commons CC BY: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage). 2 SAGE Open of professional identity relates to the evolving nature of economic arenas for all Americans” (p. 25). Nieto (2007) school leaders’ ontology, and how it informs their profes- believed that Latinas/os have the potential to develop com- sional role. munity equity by The state of Texas serves 5,000,000 children in K-12 . . . attracting involvement via initiatives that heighten the bar of schools. The Texas Education Agency reported that in 2014, expectations in the quality of life people prefer to live, engaging 52% of students were Hispanic, 29% were White, and 13% parents in pursuing new forms of socializing and educating their were African American (Texas Education Agency, 2016). children beyond what public education is able to provide, and Data from the National Latina/o Leadership Project survey creating the environments that broaden and sustain the structures include 215 Latina/o school administrators and observed needed to significantly increase participation across all sectors their schooling experiences and how their background and of Latino community life. (p. 86) race impact their work as school leaders. Questions consid- ered for this study included the following: (a) Describe your This social responsibility is echoed across the diverse groups schooling experiences. (b) Has your racial/ethnic back- that compose Latinas/os in America, which comprised 54 ground create barriers in your work as a school administra- million in 2013 or 17% of the total U.S. population (Stepler tor? (c) Has your racial/ethnic background been a benefit in & Brown, 2015). your work as an administrator? Findings in this study show that the school administrators’ schooling experiences, suc- cesses, and barriers contributed to shape their professional Latina/o Leadership Literature role and the development of a professional identity. Scholars exploring Latina/o leadership like Bordas (2015) affirm that Latina/os possess leadership traits conducive to Rationale addressing the aforementioned crisis indicated by Nieto In 2006, the founder and president of the National Hispanic (2006). Bordas contends that Latinas/os come from a We- Institute, Ernesto Nieto (2006) indicated a need to organize orientation, or people-centered culture. In schools in need of Latinas/os in America to “influence thinking, alter the social improved performance, a leader who can build a cohesive trajectories and directions of collective bodies of Latinos, and culture can positively impact a campus culture. She reminds cause significant shifts in the social perspectives, beliefs, and us that Latinas/os grow up contributing to their families and outlooks of either various subsectors or the entirety of the communities since an early age, developing values such as Latino community” (p. 84). At the time, he defined this need cooperation, reciprocity, and generosity. as a Latina/o leadership crisis. He highlighted the importance Social and civic engagement is particularly important in of developing a community that (a) can recognize the ongo- fostering school change. When promoting social justice for ing collective capacity and effectiveness in enacting commu- diverse groups in schools is perceived as an important aspect nity-focused change and (b) can determine ways of creating a in improving schools (Anderson, 2009; Bogotch et al., 2008; critical mass for addressing internal conflicts, and included Jean-Marie et al., 2009; Theoharis, 2009), culture-centered considerations of Latina/o upbringing in the development of leadership can be considered of particular significance. an individual and national identity. Bordas (2015) indicated five fundamental principles Latinas/ Indeed, even though Latinas/os can be defined based on os carry, significant in building a culture-centered leader- cultural and collective values, there are internal differences ship. These are as follows: (a) An intergenerational spirit, among the several groups that compose the Hispanic com- related to how Latinas/os have maintained sight of the gen- munity. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) erational responsibility to work together toward a common differentiated Hispanics as Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, good; (b) the Latina/o leader as one among equals, nurturing South or Central American, or other Spanish-speaking back- shared governance and rotating responsibilities to cultivate grounds, regardless of race (Murakami, Valle, & Mendez- leadership in others and strengthening a We culture; (c) Morse, 2013). Each country’s background generates Juntos: a collective community stewardship toward short- variability in personal values and purpose. Such variability of term and long-term vision to remain focused on a step-by- Latinas/os also influences their development of a professional step process that counts on every small and large contribution; identity, which will vary due to language-base similarities, (d) Sí, se puede (Yes we can!) which relates to exercising but varied roots. Unifying this diversity is a call for the devel- social activism and coalition building, fostering a sense of opment of a Latina/o national voice and identity according to culture and community, advocating and participating in Nieto (2007) and Trueba (1999). issues of community concern; and finally (e) Gozar la vida— Trueba (1999) advocated for the development of a with quintessential leadership that promotes the celebration Latina/o cultural identity, stating that leaders should have of life through community celebrations, oral traditions, and “specific qualities of vision, biculturalism, multiple identi- storytelling that integrates history and cultural traditions. ties, the ability to code-switch and a profound commitment Similarly, Yosso (2005) has also identified six elements of to democratic ideals of fair participation in the political and cultural wealth that can impact the practice of school leaders. Murakami et al. 3 In this model, Yosso (2005) argued that students of color Barbara with the Center for New Racial Studies (n.d.) posits bring with them six forms of cultural capital that can be used as follows: to improve the outcomes. These capitals include aspiration, “Intersectionality” is the name that is now given to the complex language, familial support, social skills, navigational, and of reciprocal attachments and sometimes polarizing conflicts resistance capital. It would not be uncommon to think that that confront both individuals and movements as they seek to Latino school leaders have been able to bring these cultural “navigate” among the raced, gendered, and class-based wealth elements into their own leadership practice. dimensions of social and political life. Both as individuals Despite these potential qualities, Latina/o school adminis- seeking to make a socially just and fulfilling “everyday life,” trators are not necessarily largely represented nationally. The and as collectivities seeking to “make history” through political 2013 NCES condition of education report shows that from action and social movements, we struggle with the unstable 89,000 school administrators working in U.S. public schools, connections between race, gender, and class (para. 1). only 7% are Latinas/os, when compared with 80% White and 10% African Americans school administrators (Bitterman, Both Latina/o students and educational professionals may Goldring, & Gray, 2013). One of the considerations in this still be discriminated and treated as marginal to those expected study is whether a racial/ethnic background creates barriers to represent educational success (Holvino, 2008; Viruell- in the attainment of educational leadership positions. If the Fuentes, Miranda, & Abdulrahim, 2012). Analyzing immi- path to becoming a school administrator requires a teaching gration and health, Viruell-Fuentes et al. (2012) recognized background, the same report accounts for only 8% of that “becoming American involves contending with ideolo- Hispanic teachers represented nationwide. In states like gies that render them racial ‘minorities’ and the stigmatized Texas, where the racial diversity of students shows that 52% meanings that the racialized society ascribes to their specific of students are Latina/o, the number of school administrators group” (p. 2101). Holvino (2008) argued that work and schol- who could foster a specific culture-centered leadership for arship at the intersections of race, class, and gender are still the improvement of students seems conspicuously sparse. In underdeveloped. This sentiment extends to a generalized per- 2012, 1,742 Latina/o school administrators were identified in ception of people of color as racialized “others” reproducing the state of Texas, which may represent 2% of the overall inequality within an ethnoracial hierarchy (Collins, 1998, total considering the aforementioned NCES report. One of 2000; Viruell-Fuentes, 2007, 2011). Collins (2000) further the barriers for the small representation of Latinas/os in defined how an intersectionality of race, ethnicity, class, and school leadership positions may relate to continuing systems other social categories limits people of color’s access to suc- of oppression. cessful positions in society. By recognizing that Black wom- en’s experiences were also shaped by race and class (Collins, 1998, 2000), she showed that intersectionality further evi- Intersectionality of Race and Identity dences a system of oppression mutually constituted to work The diverse Latino population is the fastest growing in the together to produce inequality (Collins, 2000; Crenshaw, United States, has a burgeoning political and economic 1989). Although intersectionality has impacted feminist the- impact on the country, but still faces homogeneous categori- ory and critical race theory, a conceptual framework explor- zation. Oboler (1995) outlined that Hispanic and Latino ing intersectionality as impacting the professional identity labels are in fact abstractions of reality, and their usage may and opportunities for Latina/o school administrators is inevitably single out socially constructed attributes. That is, warranted. by accepting these labels, individuals may be subject to limi- When discussing ways that intersectionality works, it is tations related to race, gender, class, or language. Labels are important to consider that forms of oppression do not operate connected to attributes which may then be considered com- independently. Many forms of discrimination are intertwined mon to the group and can be used to create assumptions for with others and intersect within the various areas of race, the individuals in the group (Oboler, 1995). Lisa Garcia ethnic, socioeconomic, and even religious identities. This Bedolla (2005) argued that to understand the contradictions concept of intersectionality was first defined academically in and dilemmas that arise from Latino contact with reality, “An the 1980s (Crenshaw, 1989), but it has been subject to dis- analysis of the Latino experience in the United States must course since the early 1900s when women’s rights and femi- be situated at the intersection of power, collective nism began gaining traction. identity(ies), and place” (p. 4). The analysis of intersection- It may be easy to consider a specific form of racial oppres- ality of race and identity for Latinos, especially Latina/o edu- sion or discrimination as operating in a vacuum. For exam- cators, is critical as spaces of political power within the ple, when considering the victimization of gay youth, many spheres of education continue to situate Latino identity in leaders and administrators may simply see them as lesbian, marginalized contexts. gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth and ignore The Institute for Social, Behavioral, and Economic their membership in other minorities. However, personal Research (ISBER) out of the University of California Santa identity is fluid and multifaceted, and developing this sense 4 SAGE Open of identity is a complex and varied process. Similarly, a stu- and experiences (Gee, 2001; Stets & Burke, 2000). dent’s experience is not accurately described simply as being Mpungose (2010) adopted a humanistic perspective to gay and as being a religious minority—these experiences examine leadership and concluded that school intersect, intertwine, and influence each other. As such, when administrators created their own provisional selves, categorizing school leaders by minority membership only, building professional identities from their own experiences one runs the risk of stereotyping and reductionist attitudes and professional knowledge. Mpungose (2010) further toward understanding their work and life. At the intersection explained that provisional selves relates to temporary of race and other professional identities, for example, an solutions school administrators may use to close a gap individual may attribute their experiences to a single cate- between their current capacities, and ideas they may hold gory (gender), to a different category (race), or to many cat- about attitudes and behaviors that may be expected in their egories at once (language, gender, and race), which, in turn, roles. In fact, Helena and Abrahao (2002) contended that in shapes their perception of the experience. education, it is hard to separate the personal from the professional, especially when considering the leadership role, which may directly relate with values and ideals in a Conceptual Framework position that can be very demanding in its commitment to The conceptual framework of intersectionality is the lens human relations. The examination of intersectionality employed to examine Latina/o school administrators in this among Latina/o school administrators and their personal study. Dill and Zambrana (2009) defined intersectionality as a and professional identity illuminates a critical and political critical lens to interrogate race, ethnicity, class, ability, age, examination of “behaviors, attitudes, and values prevalent nation, sexuality, and gender within structures of inequality. within American society” (Lopez-Class, Gonzales Castro, Collins further contextualized intersectionality within a sys- & Ramirez, 2011, p. 1558). One final note regarding labels tem that politically constructs these categories within a hier- and the designation of ethnic identity as it relates to this archy of social organization, which defines the experiences of study. Without a doubt, the United States is experiencing people of color, which, in her study, explored the lives of unprecedented demographic changes as it relates to Black females. Holvino (2008) stated the relationship between Spanish-speaking individuals; however, sometimes it is women and men of color is “the area in which feminists of unclear on the label that should be used to describe this colour have made fewer inroads . . . because intergroup eth- rising population. The researchers of this study have agreed nic/racial conflict creates the need for little-questioned soli- to use the term Latino, which is short for latinoamericano. darity in order to survive” (Hurtado, 1996, p. 381). In this We use “Latino” because it was created within the Latino study, we explore intersectionality as influencing the profes- community, connotes common values but leaves room for sional identity of school administrators. individual differences and does not strip people of their Professional identity relates to the evolving nature of historical identity. defining an individual’s professional role. Beijaard, Meijer, and Verloop (2004) asserted that professional identity “is not Method a fixed attribute of a person, but a relational phenomenon” (p. 108). In educational leadership, Scribner and Crow This study recruited 231 participants via email invitations, (2012) explored the professional identity of school leaders as which described the study as a Texas-wide survey of Latina/o an important investigation of personal and professional val- superintendents, principals, and assistant principals. ues beyond the achievement of technical skills. When explor- Developed as a state-specific project in the National Latino ing the development of a professional identity, Gee (2001) Leadership Project (NLLP), its purpose is to further identify reflected that “one cannot have an identity of any sort with- characteristics about leadership style and career paths. The out some interpretive system” (p. 107). DeRue and Ashford NLLP represents a 10-year collaboration among Latina/o (2010) further argued that a leader identity is both an internal scholars from universities across the country. cognition and a socially constructed cognition that build on The initial NLLP project began through discussion the interplay between leader and follower. Considering the around common leadership questions and evolved into a effect of intersectionality among Latina/o school administra- large-scale study of Latina/o school leaders. In 2007, a tors, it is important to explore how Latinas/os interpreted group of scholars conducted the first national survey of their experiences to build their professional identity. Latina/o school administrators and presented the findings of In states like Texas, where the context of traditionally this first every national survey at various national conven- underserved students limits the opportunity for success, tions and international research conferences in subsequent the pipeline from student to educational professional can years. NLLP investigated the representation of Latina/o be examined to explore the negotiation of one’s identity in assistant school administrators in the United States, includ- relation to oppressive systems and societal participation. ing their challenges and aspirations. Some of the following Scholars indeed asserted that identity involves an under- questions composed the initial survey: (a) What are the standing of self, and it is influenced by their social context demographics of Latina/o assistant school administrators? Murakami et al. 5 (b) Where do Latina/o assistant school administrators work? administrators, and benefits of race/ethnicity within their (c) What types of challenges do Latina/o assistant school work. Short essay questions in this study included the fol- administrators face? and (d) What are likely future aspira- lowing: (a) Describe your own schooling experiences. (b) tions of Latina/o assistant school administrators? The initial To what extent has your racial/ethnic background created study evidenced Latinas/o leaders’ willingness to serve in barriers in your work as an administrator? (c) What are the highly diverse high-need communities where their impact biggest challenges you face in your work as a school admin- would be meaningful in promoting student improvement istrator? (d) What are the biggest successes you face in your (Murakami, Hernandez, Mendez-Morse, & Byrne-Jimenez, work as a school administrators? and (e) To what extent has 2016). your racial/ethnic background been a benefit in your work as an administrator? Race and ethnicity were terms included in the questions and offered as interchangeable (grouped). Context of the Study and Instrumentation They were left to be defined by the participants due to the Texas was selected for the statewide study because it is one high intersectionality variation in backgrounds and cultures of the largest states in the United States employing a high among Hispanics. number of Latina/o school leaders. The state is also home to the faster growing Latino population. Based on the feedback Data Analysis received from the first study from participants in 2007, sur- vey questions were changed and survey section questions Each question was analyzed separately informed by the con- were reduced in numbers. The initial survey was first mod- ceptual framework and includes all qualitative responses, eled after the School and Staffing Survey (SASS) that was considering confirming and disconfirming data. Ethical con- last given in 2011-2012. However, NLLP survey, unlike the siderations included the anonymity of individual responses SASS survey, included questions related to gender, race, and masked geographical location. Descriptive and content leadership style, barriers, and successes to effective leader- analyses were the approaches employed for this study. ship. Although this study specifically looks at professional A descriptive analysis was used to summarize the data, por- identity and the intersectionality of race, the larger survey traying important characteristics and features of the data pro- was divided into three broad categories: school demograph- vided by the participants (Coladarci, Cobb, Minium, & ics, career path, and leadership identity (Murakami et al., Clarke, 2011). Content analysis was used to add to the 2016). These three categories were further subdivided into descriptive approach by coding of the data and an interpreta- 10 sections: tion of qualitative responses for each survey question (Downe-Wamboldt, 1992; Mayring, 2000). The content •• School context: general school information, school analysis was conducted by examining similar words used by performance, responsibilities participants. In addition, the short essay questions were •• Career path: professional development, leadership coded and grouped into themes based on the content of each style/practice, experience/training, successes/ answer. At the end, the researchers were able to identify the challenges main patterns found in the short answers. An inductive pro- •• Leadership identity: gender/ethnicity, barriers, per- cess was used for the content analysis, considering related sonal background. studies based on variables considered. In other words, the researchers were committed to allowing the data to speak for Participants’ email addresses were obtained from the state itself and to place it within the conceptual framework. Below, of Texas education records, which tracks school administra- the findings are discussed. tors demographic data. Participants were expected to take 10 min to complete the survey which included both short essay Findings response and Likert-type scale formats (Murakami et al., 2016). The survey instrument was distributed during the The findings reveal the intersectionality of race and class as spring of 2015. The instrument was distributed again during influencing the work of school administrators, who described the following summer and fall. A reminder email was sent their schooling experiences as leading to the development of out every 3 to 5 days to prompt the participants to take the their professional identities. To provide contextual informa- survey. In all, the survey was available for approximately 3 tion in relation to the respondents, we first include demo- weeks. This study reflects the responses of 226 school graphic data to inform the responses. Also included are rates administrators in the state, 57% were female and 43% male, of responses to the questions, followed by answers to open- with ages ranging between 33 and 68. Eighty-seven respon- ended sections provided for each of the questions, which dents were U.S. born. included reflections on their experiences growing up in Variables considered as influencing the professional schools; the extent their racial/ethnic background created identity of Latina/o school leaders included schooling, bar- barriers in their work as an administrator; and challenges in riers due to racial/ethnic background, challenges as school their leadership. 6 SAGE Open “delegative” and only 16 participants indicated a very auto- Demographical Characteristics cratic leadership style. In addition, 81% indicated that a men- This study included 216 participants, of which 91 were males tor was important in attaining the position they currently and 125 females. Fifty-eight percent of participants self- hold; 74% indicated that they currently serve as a mentor or identified as Hispanic. Others self-identified as Mexican role model to another aspiring professional. Forty-two per- (20%) and Latina/o (7%). The participants ranged from 28 to cent of salaries among school administrators ranged from 73 years of age (M = 47.45, SD = 9.04). Less than 1% (N = US$70,000 to US$90,000 a year, with 34% reporting earn- 2) identified as Puerto Rican, and 9% of the participants ings of US$90,000 to US$110,000 a year. Only 21 partici- identified as “Other.” Eighty-six percent of participants were pants indicated they were earning more than US$110,000. U.S. born. Ten percent were born in Mexico and 3% selected Salaries for males and females did not differ. “Other.” Of the U.S. born participants, 88% (N = 162) were born in Texas. Early Schooling Experiences In terms of languages spoken, 90% of participants reported fluency in Spanish beyond English proficiency. As Participants were asked how they would describe their school educators, these participants spoke Spanish mainly with stu- experiences. We considered the focus on early school experi- dents and their families. Sixty-one percent of the participants ences as affecting not only individuals in schools but also reported that their racial or ethnic background positively their health (i.e., Cummins, 1986; Kumanyika & Grier, impacted their work as an administrator: Sixty-six percent of 2006). Latinos and African American students are more com- the participants indicated that their racial or ethnic back- monly the focus of interventions. Hardships threatening their ground has helped them connect with students (with 14% academic success often are related with language and pov- responding as “neutral”). Also, 76% of the participants erty. However, it is important to consider Cummins’s (1986) reported that their ethnicity did not present a barrier in their observation that while interventions are often implemented work as administrators, selecting “rarely” or “never” when with positive intent, these have not necessarily proved to asked whether ethnicity created barriers or problems in their alter the relationships between educators and students of work as administrators. color, nor the relationship between schools and communities The school administrators indicated their highest level of of color. In our intent to learn about those Latina/o students education. Twenty percent of participants reported to have a who presented an interest in becoming teachers and adminis- doctorate degree, 63% had master’s degrees, 16% declared trators, we inquired whether Latinas/os who became teachers having an education specialist certification, and 2% indi- and subsequently school administrators were students who cated a bachelor’s degree as their highest degree. From the did not necessarily experience difficult relationships in sample, the majority of participants (81%) were serving as schools. Indeed, very fewer school administrators communi- school administrators and 10% were serving in the superin- cated their experiences in school as negative. However, this tendency role. was not always the case. Surprisingly, 6% of the participants The participants shared information about their formal communicated that their experiences in school were nega- preparation. Besides principals and superintendents, seven tive. On the flipside, only 37% of school administrators participants indicated they were assistant principals, and 11 expressed their experiences as very positive. Many expressed indicated they served in other administrative positions. that their experience in school presented a gamut of both Eighty-three participants acquired their principal or superin- positive and negative aspects (see Figure 1). tendent certification at a public university, whereas 10% Many of the participants contributed with open-ended attended private institutions. Few participants declared earn- positive responses. These responses showed the influential ing their degrees from an online university (n = 4) or a liberal role of teachers. Respondents who added comments to nega- arts college (n = 1). As undergraduates, 27% of participants tive experiences sections of the Likert-type scale instrument (n = 57) indicated they began their education at a community (i.e., Figure 1, Options 1, 2, or 3) shared memories of the college. The majority of participants (75%) indicated that following interactions with teachers: they were “well prepared” or “very well prepared” when Based on the responses, categorized under negative expe- they began their current position. riences in school, it is clear that many of these experiences The school administrators reported that on average, their were related to the leader’s racial identity, including the experiences as students in school were very positive. intersectionality of language and ethnicity. For example, Seventy-six percent responded that their experiences ranged when participants use words such as “discriminated” and from “positive” to “very positive.” Overwhelmingly, partici- “had donkey ears put on my head,” this can have traumatic pants also cited the role of mentors in choosing administra- results for children. Other leaders who wrote about negative tive work. Seventy-nine percent of school leaders indicated experiences reflected on their treatment for speaking their that mentorship played a significant role in their develop- native language and being Hispanic, pointing again to the ment of leadership skills and style. The school leaders indi- intersectionality of race and language. Two of the leaders cated that their leadership style was “democratic” or wrote about the physical punishment for speaking Spanish. Murakami et al. 7 Figure 1. Latina/o school administrators’ schooling experiences. Among responses indicating school experiences were experiences, with strong intersectionality between negative both positive and negative (survey responses with a Likert- experiences and race, and negative experiences and lan- type response 4), the influence of teachers is evidenced. guage. Furthermore, it was clear that the participants in the Open-ended responses included the following: study could recognize the teachers who cared about and for These leaders express that while they had both positive them. Looking back at their schooling experiences and and negative experiences in school, most of their negative acknowledging both the good and the bad, these Latina/o experiences centered on issues related to language, Spanish school leaders knew which teachers empathized with them names, and being isolated from other students. As they and could understand their experiences. Even though respon- reflected in the survey, they also experienced lower expecta- dents are between 33 and 68 years old, it was hard as a tions from teachers and questions about their cognitive abili- research group to understand how corporate punishment was ties based on language skills only. Despite these negative used to encourage learning. experiences, the Latina/o school leaders persevered and When race is the focus of building individual identity, we made the best of their experiences. critically considered the racial composition of teacher/student School administrators who responded having positive associations and intersections in these responses considering experiences, similarly relate those experiences as being the likelihood that these students were served by a teacher influenced by teachers and the importance of being validated demographic that accounts for 65% White teachers and 22% in their efforts. Interestingly, not all open-ended responses Hispanic in the state of Texas (Bitterman, Goldring, and Gray, were only positive as follows: 2013). The influence of White teachers and dominant racial All responses analyzed indicate the strong influence of ideologies are evidenced in the responses, aligning with adults in determining these school administrators schooling Picower (2009) and others who call for the importance of 8 SAGE Open Table 1. Latina/o School Administrators’ Negative Schooling Experiences. - I was ability grouped - Teachers would not help. I was discriminated and had donkey ears put on my head. - When I was in first grade, my teacher used a ruler to hit me on my hands for speaking Spanish. - Corporal punishment was administered for speaking other than English - Many of my Hispanic classmates were tracked into vocational career paths - There were low expectations - There were no role models. Gangs were the only people one could relate with. Table 2. Latina/o School Administrators’ Positive or Negative School Supports. - In Elementary school I was not allowed to speak Spanish and would get punished if I did. I was retained in the 4th grade becaus e transitioning to English was hard for me. After I finally transitioned 5th-6th grade school was easy and fun for me. That’s why I chose both! - We came back to the U.S. when I turned 8 years old. I was in third grade. I was moved to 1st grade because I didn’t speak Eng lish. The bilingual program had a sink or swim mentality. The rigor was not the same and I learned to be compliant. - I attended school in Indiana and experienced much prejudice and loss of opportunity due to my “name.” It was often explained to me by teachers that if I had not been born in Mexico I would understand. - Some teachers were kind; others were biased and showed favoritism. - I was teased growing up because I was in the bilingual program. - Environments lacking diversity or Latino groups were the most challenging as a student. - I attended school. Did the best I could. - Attended school in Mexico until 9th grade; completed high school in the U.S. As an English Language Learner (ELL) student, I wa s often sent elsewhere to work. This made me feel inferior. - When in high school, I didn’t realize why I never made it into the top class. Later, I understood! That class was for monoling ual English students only, not only top academic students. - My transition to the U.S. was rough since I didn’t know the language. My parents and I had very little knowledge on how the sys tem works. I was placed in very basic classes, based on my language barrier, which lowered my expectations. As a consequence I was not prepared for college and had to take remedial classes. This was discouraging at first but I finally overcame this setbacks. Table 3. Latina/o School Administrators’ Positive Schooling Experiences. - I had some great teachers in certain grades. - I had great, supportive teachers who truly cared about my education. They helped me overcome challenges and inspired me. - I was pushed academically at home and school and I had a positive self-esteem of myself when it came to school. - Since I was strong academically, I had a lot of teachers encourage me. However, there were times when some teachers put me do wn just because I am a Latina. - White teachers didn’t always treat Hispanics the way they should have. - I had teachers who understood me as a person, and as a learner who I enjoyed, but also had experiences with teachers who I did not like. - Variation in expectations and teacher empowerment. - Because my parents had it so unfair, my attitude was a more positive because I didn’t experience what they did in school. Altho ugh, thinking back, there were incidents that I would call not right. - I enjoyed going to school. I did not realize the discrimination at the time. Now that I reflect on it I realize there were ma ny instances of discrimination that I accepted since that is what I was expected to do. - I was a migrant so I went to school in Texas and Louisiana. My parents did not allow for excuses so they always supported the school. - Being the first generation born in the U.S., my parents had high expectations for me. I did everything I could not to let them down. I’m the eldest in my family, and my parents always reminded me that I set the example for my siblings. - I experienced a wonderful but very sheltered matriarchal upbringing in the 60s in McAllen, Texas. I loved my barrio, La Paloma. Barrio back then had a positive connotation. That little barrio produced many first generation college students who are now lawyers, doctors, pharmacists, meteorologists, engineers, and educators like myself. Life was great as a 2nd generation Mexican-American. I did not know I was poor or a minority or bilingual until I came to Houston in the late 70s to go to college. Perception is everything. examining these critical intersections. Important to consider schooling experiences. In relation to students’ perceived is Bernal, Knight, Ocampo, Garza, and Cota’s (1993) obser- interventions, the responses showed that in some instances, vation that Latina/o students are aware that schools are even when interventions were in place, neither students nor “social, cultural, and political contexts” (p. 135) early in their parents were fully informed about them. These responses Murakami et al. 9 Figure 2. Latina/o school administrators’ race/ethnicity background as contributing to understanding the experiences of students of color. confirm Cummins’s (1986) point about the importance of the group, or intergroup realities. This means that there is diver- need to improve not only interventions but also the relation- sity not only in America but also within groups, such as ships between educators and students. Latinas/os. As we can find Mexican families who are indig- enous to colonized states like Texas, as well as immigrant families from Mexico, we also acknowledgee other back- Latinas/o School Administrators Connecting With grounds such as Puerto Ricans, Cubans, South Americans, Students of Color and others, as families and children served by Latinas/os. Following on their intersectionality considerations in the The heterogeneity is often ignored, where “glossing over development of a professional identity, we asked school identifictions based on national origin can be problematic” administrators to reflect on the extent of their racial/ethnic (Ferdman & Gallegos, 2001, p. 35). Hence, the importance background as contributing in connecting with the experi- to reveal whether Latinas/os would be prone to articulate if ences of students of color (Figure 2). The rationale behind they identified with the experiences with students of color. the connections of Latinas/os and students of color relates to Not surprisingly, their responses varied. observations made by Ferdman and Gallegos (2001), who Seventy-eight participants recognized an intersection argue that individual identity develops in the context of a between their racial background and the experiences of 10 SAGE Open Table 4. Latina/o School Administrators Who Do Not Perceive connection between Latina/o administrators and students. Race/Ethnicity Background as Significant to the Experiences of For example, Ferdman and Gallegos (2001) questioned what Students of Color. factors lead to each orientation. In consideration is that much still needs to be explored about “What is the role of variables - I don’t see it as a benefit or deterrents. - Not aware of anything. [in developing an identity] such as external stressors, per- - Only for Hispanic schools. ceived threats from others to oneself, or to one’s group, rela- tionships with other people, language use, and ability, phenotype, and family composition?” (p. 54). Table 5. Latina/o School Administrators Who Perceive Race/ Ethnicity Background as Significant to the Experiences of Students of Color. Latinas/o School Administrators Capitalizing on Race/Ethnicity - I generally believe it has been a nonissue, though I believe some of the parents I have worked with have found comfort in Considering the school administrators’ experiences in my ability to speak Spanish. schools, the NLLP survey sought to examine the participants’ - It has been a great benefit since the majority of our students, preparation as a school administrator. For the most part, a staff and parents are Hispanic. Being able to communicate in Spanish has been an additive in increasing trust with our large majority of participants responded they felt prepared students and parents. for the position. Seventy-five percent of those surveyed indi- - The ethnicity has not but the ability to speak Spanish has been. cated they felt well or very well prepared for their first - The ability to communicate with our Bilingual families in their administrative job. Within their preparedness, we asked a language. question that would include race/ethnicity in their prepara- - As a bilingual educator, it has opened more doors, especially in tion, which bring together their experiences. We asked how Title 1, predominately Hispanic student population schools. the Latina/o school administrators perceived their race and - I can relate to my students and faculty. ethnicity background as benefiting their work. In a previous NLLP national study, school administrators were divided students of color (Likert-type responses 4-7). There was a between those who perceived race/ethnicity as a barrier and representative response from participants who did not per- those who did not. In studying Latina/o adminstrators in ceive their racial background as associated with students of Texas, we found a similar pattern where respondents were color in their schools. Their identity has been explored by divided about their race/ethnicity as benefiting their work. Ferdman and Gallegos (2001), who assert that some Latinas/ Murakami et al. (2016) found similar concerns about those os may carry an undifferentiated orientation, where they see indicating a void between their race/ethnicity background people of color as “just people.” The authors explain that and their position. Respondents in the Texas study were some Latinas/os may accept the dominant norms of the U.S. divided in recognizing how their racial/ethnic background society and perceive to view people distinct from their racial been a benefit in their work as administrators. This question or ethnic identity. Ferdman and Gallegos (2001) suggested provoked a larger range of both likert-type and open-ended that these Latinos may take a “color blind” perspective when responses, as it connects upbringing experiences and the considering their own racial identity. Moreover, these authors development of a professional identity (Figure 3): assert that when these particular Latinos encounter barriers, When school administrators were asked whether their they attribute them to behavior rather than to race, racism, or race/ethnicity background benefited the work of school their Latinoness. Studies in educational leadership may administrators, more than 12% of respondents indicated that explain this behavior when recognizing race may compro- race/ethnicity did not benefit them as professionals. Those mise their own profession. For school administrators of responding not at all (Likert-type option 1) did not add open- color, they have to be very careful when recognizing their ended comments. Eleven percent of participants responding skills because the intent is not to further dismiss instances of that race/ethnicity was not necessarily benefiting their work discrimination but to address inequalities. Nonetheless, those (Likert-type options 2 and 3) added the following open- who responded not perceiving a connection between their ended comments: own upbringing and potential connections with students of Fifteen percent of participants were neutral in perceiving if color added comments as shown in Table 4. race/ethnicity benefited their work. It is clear that some of the Those indicating their racial background as contributing leaders that completed the survey are not aware of how their to an understanding the experiences of students of color own racial and ethnic identity impacts their work as school added comments as shown in Table 5. leaders. Their open-ended comments included the following: The implications of race in the development of a school More than 60% of respondents perceived race/ethnicity as leader’s professional identity are indeed complex as demon- benefiting to some degree (Likert-type options 5, 6, and 7). strated by the responses. Language and kinship were seen as These school administrators added an overwhelming number benefits. There seems to be more to be learned about a of comments when compared with other options in this Murakami et al. 11 Figure 3. Latina/os race and ethnicity background as benefiting the work of school administrators. question. In their open-ended responses, Latina/o school recognize the diverse backgrounds of their students. This is administrators suggest a strong connection between their noted as some leaders express the idea that they can see them- race/ethnicity and their professional identity as school selves in the lives of their students. Their capacity to see them- administrators especially based on (a) common upbringing, selves in the eyes of their students connects these Latino school (b) common language and culture, and (c) being a role model. leaders with their students on a much profound level, which is beyond the conventional principal–student connection. Common upbringing. The respondents recognized that students and parents felt connected to them due to their racial/ethnic Latina/o school administrator as a role model. An important asset background. They included comments such as follows: benefiting students, teachers, and parents related to the Latina/o school administrator as a role model (Table 10). Respondents Common language and culture. Latina/o school administrators perceived they could positively influence multiple stakeholders. demonstrated that language and culture were assets they brought Their comments included the following: to parents and students. Comments as detailed in Table 9 The question of how race and ethnicity background benefit included the following: the work of school administrators received an extraordinary In the last two sections, it is clear that the leaders’ lived expe- number of open-ended comments. The participants felt more riences have provided them with the ability to comprehend and comfortable in responding to this question as opposed to the 12 SAGE Open Table 6. Latina/o School Administrators Who Perceive Race/Ethnicity Background as Not Benefiting Their Work. - I love all of my students regardless of race. - I don’t feel my racial/ethnic background contributes to connections, or lack thereof, formed by students. - I have rare opportunities to work with students of color but find no difficulty in doing so when the opportunity arises. - I don’t really think that it helps, but it doesn’t hurt. - It benefits when students feel that they are being picked on because of their color or race - I have not always been aware of this, but I believe some students have identified with me due to a common cultural heritage. - My past experiences have given me excellent insight into the struggles faced by students of color. Table 7. Latina/o School Administrators Neutral About Race/Ethnicity Background as Benefiting Their Work. - I build relationships with kids and don’t pay too much attention to what color they are. - Students and parents seem to trust my decisions. - Parents appear to relate better to me. - Although being Hispanic in a predominately Hispanic region, and I could use that to relate to the students, I believe it was mo re my socioeconomic status growing up that helped relate to students of the same economic status. - Being able to speak both languages is a huge benefit to communicating effectively with parents. - Familiar with the cultural “hidden rules” that helps me build relationships with all stakeholders. - Being of Hispanic decent has allowed me to connect to the students of color because we are able to see commonalities or shared ground with respect to being minorities. - I can relate linguistically and my personality relates to all ethnicities - I don’t believe me being Hispanic has affected how I connect with students. I attribute the way I am able to connect with stude nts to my upbringing. - It’s not about color. It’s about relationships. Table 8. Latina/o School Administrators’ Connections With Common Race/Ethnicity Upbringing. - I have been in their shoes. - We have the same educational experiences - I often use my stories and experiences as the first person in my family to graduate from college to inspire my students. - I have been able to rely on my experiences growing up and have been able to share with a few kids to prevent them from going do wn a wrong path. At the end of the day it’s about choice. - The hardships and judgements I have personally been subjected to have been based on economic standing more than race/ethnicity. - Based on some student’s background, they may see me making more connections and understand them better because our skin is the same color, however, what they may not initially realize is that the connections and interactions I have with students/teachers/ parents are not dependent on race or ethnicity. It is dependent on the value I place on all humanity. - The Hispanic population (which is over 85%) on my campus seem excited and happy and work extremely hard. I think that they fee l that they can relate to me since I come from a similar background. - Students enjoy hearing my stories regarding my past and overcoming obstacles. - I was able to relay my personal experiences and successes to the families, students and teachers. - I maintain a sense of identity with the families and having worked in industry for 16 years prior to education, I have been a ble to pragmatically build good relationships with minorities. Table 9. Latina/o School Administrators’ Connections With Common Language and Culture. - They see themselves in me and feel more comfortable talking to me in English or Spanish. - My culture and traditions helped me connect with my sudents at my campus. - Bilingual students can relate to my own personal experience - I live and work in a community with a large percentage of Hispanic families. Speaking Spanish and being Hispanic makes me more approachable for some families. - Hispanic students can relate easier to Hispanic administrators. - As with most situations when people speak a common language, Spanish-speaking students find me more approachable then the non- Spanish speaking administrators. - Students see that someone of their ethnicity can make it. I can relate to their experiences - Most of the schools I served has been with students of the same ethnic background so I’ve been able to use my language and background in order to connect with students. - Most of our students of color are from interracial relationships. It is easy to relate with them. - Connections to culture. Also growing up in Dallas and attending Dallas ISD public schools has allowed me to embrace the variet y of cultures of both the Hispanic and African American communities. - This has been extremely beneficial because we have a commonality and usually I am able to relate to their background, customs, language, and other life experiences that are shaped by culture. - I’m multiethnic and I believe that it has been to my advantage in working with all of my students. Murakami et al. 13 Table 10. Latina/o School Administrators’ as Role Models. - My background has been an advantage because it has allowed me to have perspective and empathy without facing a vast amount of personal prejudice and bias. - Teachers of color feel like they to can move up professionally. - Being the only one of a very few in this position, I’ve certainly been a resource for students and parents. - I can empathize without feeling sorry for students, I show them that education is key to come out of poverty. - Some students had never seen an administrator or teacher be of Hispanic background. It affirms to the students that anything is possible and that it can be done if they have a growth mindset. - The students and parents love knowing that someone of their ethnicity is in a leadership role. - It is a great plus as an administrator. They understand that I am like them. - The majority of my student population is Hispanic. I connect to them as one of their own, however, more importantly I connect to them as a person, not just a Hispanic Principal. - I make students understand that it is very possible for students of color to achieve. - I believe some students who are minorities feel a sense of comfort and pride when they see that their principal is also a minority. I like to think I am a good role model for them. - It is important for students to see various ethnic backgrounds in leadership roles. This allows them to relate to a leader . . . and to aspire to be one. - There is a sense of connection and understanding. They trust me more than my other counterparts. - Being Hispanic in a school that is 96% Hispanic has been a very positive experience and has allowed more parents to feel comfortable coming to school and being more involved. We still have a long way to go, but speaking the language and being able to relate to both students and parents has been a major asset. - I think the students and parents feel that as a person of color they can communicate with me better than they can with others who are not of color. - Students to me are “sacred” regardless of race or color. I am committed to making sure that all my students receive the best quality of education. Race is not an issue for me as an educator. I see all my students as my own children and I want the best for them. - My background has been extremely beneficial in working with our students. It has helped me to connect and build positive relationships with my students. - I am a role model, I feel like I am their dad—I treat them with respect and take care of them as if they were my own children. I am their biggest champion! - I have had several Hispanic parents tell me that they are thankful I am at my campus. They appreciate the Spanish newsletters, emails and callouts. - Since working at Title 1 campuses the make up of student population is usually Hispanic thus students can relate to seeing someone who look like them and speaks like them. - More important than my racial/ethnic background helping to connect with students, is my belief than I must first show the students how much I care before I show them how much I know. - Personal experiences are countless in the number of times both students and parents did not realize that I was bilingual. As a fair- skinned Hispanic, with an Anglo surname through marriage, they incorrectly assume that I am not bilingual. However, once the Spanish flows . . . all is appreciated and respected instantaneously. - To be a Hispanic male has helped me as I work with many Hispanic students and families today. Students immediately understand that I have gone through many of the same experiences that they have been through growing up Hispanic. This places us on the same level as we speak about goals and overcoming obstacles.This includes other ethnic origins. question about connecting with students of color. The school school administrators. Their responses were rich in evi- administrators confirmed many of the Latina/o capitals listed dencing common early schooling experiences. These expe- by Yosso (2005), including the importance of a common riences were not often devoid of racism and discrimination. upbringing, common language, and culture. The awareness of Despite these hardships, these individuals opted to have a being a role model for both students and adults was an indica- career in education. It was important to remind ourselves of tion that these administrators were critical in their roles and the low number of Latinas/os in administrative positions in intentional in their investments to improve the experiences of the United States. Therefore, we recognize how this study those in schools. These leaders also ultilized their own experi- could not include questions that could jeopardize their ences with discrimination to develop high levels of empathy work. for their diverse students. Although still holding their students Nonetheless, they were candid in recognizing how race and to high expectation, these Latino school leaders understood ethnicity affect their work. When race is the focus of building that parents saw them as an advocate for their chilren because an individual’s professional identity, we also critically consid- of their racial and ethnic backgrounds. ered the racial composition of teacher/student associations and intersections in these responses. We especially considered the likelihood that these administrators, when children, were Discussion served by a teacher demographic that is less White, but still The lessons provided by the findings in this research reveal accounts for 65% White teachers and 22% Hispanic in the that much is still to be explored about the impact of Latina/o state of Texas (NCES, 2013). 14 SAGE Open The influence of White teachers and dominant racial ide- Bernal, M. E., Knight, G. P., Ocampo, K. A., Garza, C. A., & Cota, M. K. (1993). Ethnic identity: Formation and transmis- ologies are evidenced in the responses, aligning with Picower sion among Hispanics and other minorities. Albany: State (2009) and others who call for the importance of examining University of New York Press. these critical intersections. Important to consider is Bernal Bitterman, A., Goldring, R., & Gray, L. (2013). Characteristics of et al.’s (1993) observation that Latina/o students are aware public and private elementary and secondary school teachers that schools are “social, cultural, and political contexts” in the United States: Results from the 2011–12 schools and (p. 135) early in their schooling experiences. In relation to staffing survey. National Center for education Statistics, U.S. students’ perceived interventions, the responses showed that Department of Education. in some instances, even when interventions were in place, Bogotch, I., Beachum, F., Blount, J., Brooks, J. S., & English, F. W. neither students nor parents were fully informed about them. (2008). Radicalizing educational leadership: Toward a theory These responses confirm Cummins’s (1986) point about the of social justice. The Netherlands: Sense Publishers. importance of the need to improve not only interventions but Bordas, J. (2015). Leadership by the many: The power of Latino inclusion. Leader to Leader, 75, 56-63. doi:10.1002/ltl.20167 also the relationships between educators and students. We Coladarci, T., Cobb, C. D., Minium, E. D., & Clarke, R. C. (2011). wondered whether teachers dealing with issues of discrimi- Fundamentals of statistical reasoning in education. Hoboken, nation among Latinas/os would consider that these children NJ: John Wiley. might want to have a job as a teacher and eventually become Collins, P. H. (1998). It’s all in the family: Intersections of gender, a school administrator in the future. race, and nation. Hypatia, 13(3), 62-82. We hope this study can be further developed to include Collins, P. H. (2000). Black feminist thought: Knowledge, con- the preparation of teachers for delivering intervention pro- sciousness, and the politics of empowerment (2nd ed.). NY: grams that promote the success of Latinas/os and students of Routledge. color. With the help of school adminisrators who once expe- Crenshaw, K. (1989). Demarginalizing the intersection of race and rienced these programs and interventions, ways to improve sex: A Black feminist critique of antidiscrimination doctrine, the experiences of Latinas/os in schools could be further feminist theory and antiracist politics. University of Chicago Legal Forum, 1989, 139-167. explored. In addition, the positive influence of Latina/o lead- Cummins, J. (1986). Empowering minority students: A framework ers as role models of color merits exploration, especially for intervention. Harvard Educational Review, 56, 18-37. because some of these school administrators sorely missed doi:10.17763/haer.56.1.b327234461607787 someone to whom they could trust when growing up. DeRue, D. S., & Ashford, S. J. (2010). Who will lead and who will Similarly, an environment where school administrators do follow? A social process of leadership identity construction in not feel threatened in their intent to support others to succeed organizations. 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Ethnic labels, Latino lives: Identity and the Administration and Supervision, and the volumes include Abriendo politics of (re)presentation in the United States. Minneapolis: Puertas, Cerrando Heridas (Opening Doors, Closing Wounds): University of Minnesota Press. Latinas/os Finding Work–Life Balance in Academia and Brown-Eyed Picower, B. (2009). The unexamined Whiteness of teaching: Leaders of the Sun: A Portrait of Latina/o Educational Leaders. How White teachers maintain and enact dominant racial ideologies. Race Ethnicity and Education, 12, 197-215. Frank Hernandez, PhD, holds the Annette and Harold Simmons doi:10.1080/13613320902995475 Centennial Chair in education policy and leadership and serves as Race/Gender/Class “Intersectionality” (n.d.). Retrieved from http:// the associate dean in the Simmons School of Education & Human www.uccnrs.ucsb.edu/intersectionality Development at Southern Methodist University (SMU). Prior to his Scribner, S. P., & Crow, G. M. (2012). Employing professional work at SMU, he served as dean of the College of Education at the identities: Case study of a high school principal in a reform University of Texas of the Permian Basin (Odessa, TX). He cur- setting. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 11, 243-274. doi:10 rently has four lines of inquiry that have guided most of his research: .1080/15700763.2012.654885 Latinos and school leadership, Latino racial identity development, Stepler, R., & Brown, A. (2015). Statistical portrait of Hispanics in inclusive leadership for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, ques- the United States between 1980-2013. Pew Research Center. tioning, queer (LGBTQ) students, and leadership for social justice. Retrieved from http://www.pewhispanic.org/2015/05/12/statisti He has published extensively on Latino leadership, including two cal-portrait-of-hispanics-in-the-united-states-1980-2013-trends/ books: Abriendo Puertas, Cerrando Heridas (Opening Doors, 16 SAGE Open Closing Wounds): Latinas/os Finding Work–Life Balance in American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE), Academia (with Elizabeth Murakami and Gloria Rodriguez) and International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), American Brown-Eyed Leaders of the Sun: A Portrait of Latina/o Educational Educational Research Association (AERA), and other national con- Leaders (with Elizabeth Murakami). He has published in top-tier ferences advancing research on distributive and transformative leader- journals such as Education Administration Quarterly, Journal of ship practices in schools that improve instruction. He collaborates School Leadership, Education and the Urban Society, Teacher with scholars nationally to mentor and develop Latina/o leaders and College Record, Journal of Latinos and Education. research Latina/os across the educational leadership pipeline. Fernando Valle is an associate professor of educational leadership at Irma Almager is an assistant professor of educational leadership at Texas Tech University. He received a doctorate in educational leader- Texas Tech University (TTU). She coordinates a DOE i3 Grant in ship from The University of Texas at Pan American and after serving conjunction with a local district with their middle school math teach- as a teacher, school counselor, and principal, he moved into university ers (sixth to ninth grades) using TAP, IT Forward Math, and work and the professoriate. He leads US$12 million in U.S. TeachScape programs. She directs the SEED grant educational lead- Department of Education federal grants including the i3 Innovation ership TAP Connect courses and curriculum for certificate partici- and Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) TAP pants in five districts and 18 schools across the state of Texas. She is Connect National Pilot and the LIFT Program which seek to improve also the director for the TTU Principal Fellows Program by facilitat- classroom practice, instructional coaching, and instructional leader- ing flipped course work for educational leadership faculty and assist- ship. The grant partnerships across the state inform his teaching, prac- ing work with principal fellow interns out in the field. She develops tice, and research in the field. He continues to present research at the research related to gender, teacher improvement, and Latina/o school University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA), leaders. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png SAGE Open SAGE

Latina/o School Administrators and the Intersectionality of Professional Identity and Race:

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Abstract

This study examines the intersectionality between professional identities and race/ethnicity among Latina/o school leaders. Stemming from a larger study at the National Latina/o Leadership Project, we examine the contributions of Latina/o school administrators in the state of Texas in relation to their leadership in K-12 schools. Two hundred twenty-six respondents inform this study. Descriptive and content analyses of data revealed that the intersectionality of race and class as influencing the work of school administrators and described how, among major influences, their own schooling experiences had an impact in the development of their professional identities. Keywords educational administration, leadership and policy, education, social sciences, race/gender, education theory and practice, educational research, Latino/a sociology, sociology of race and ethnicity, sociology The new century brought to light social justice issues related identity and race/ethnicity. Stemming from a larger study at to the improvement of schools in America (Bogotch, Beachum, the National Latina/o Leadership Project, we examine the Blount, Brooks, & English, 2008; Horsford, 2009; Jean-Marie, contributions of Latina/o school administrators in the state of Normore, & Brooks, 2009; Murakami & Hernandez, 2013; Texas in relation to their leadership in K-12 schools. The Theoharis, 2009). Beyond high expectations for academic per- knowledge acquired during formative years informs how formance, scholars indicated the importance of considering school leaders can capitalize their experiences and use it to school leaders to be prepared to foster the development of “a inform the development of a professional identity. multicultural, multiethnic, multi-religious, and multinational society” (Jean-Marie et al., 2009, p. 2). Within their prepara- Purpose of the Study tion, there is a pressing responsibility to prepare leaders who can create participatory venues conducive to equitable oppor- The purpose of this study is to examine the experiences of tunities for students—as well as teachers, families, and col- Latina/o school administrators in Texas. In consideration is leagues in education. the principals’ intersectionality between professional iden- Important considerations for school leaders include their tity and race. Scribner and Crow (2012) indicated the preparation and experiences growing up as a student them- importance of professional identity in research on school selves. Narratives showing an intersection between being a leaders as it relates to their role beyond the development of student and later becoming a school leader are particularly technical skills. Professional identity relates to the multiple poignant. Horsford (2009), for example, examined the effects identities that shape leaders, and the nature of their leader- of segregation and desegregation from an African American ship in relation to the populations they serve. The essence who later became a school superintendent. Of relevance here is the pipeline from student to professional. It is important to University of North Texas, Denton, USA not only advocate for social justice among students but also 2 Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX, USA guarantee the preparation of these students in a possible path Texas Tech University, Lubbock, USA to serve in education professions as teachers, counselors, and Corresponding Author: school administrators. Elizabeth Murakami, College of Education, University of North Texas, In this study of Latina/o leaders, we developed an exami- Matthews Hall MATT 218-H, Denton, TX 76203-1277, USA. nation of the intersectionality between the professional Email: elizabeth.murakami@unt.edu Creative Commons CC BY: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage). 2 SAGE Open of professional identity relates to the evolving nature of economic arenas for all Americans” (p. 25). Nieto (2007) school leaders’ ontology, and how it informs their profes- believed that Latinas/os have the potential to develop com- sional role. munity equity by The state of Texas serves 5,000,000 children in K-12 . . . attracting involvement via initiatives that heighten the bar of schools. The Texas Education Agency reported that in 2014, expectations in the quality of life people prefer to live, engaging 52% of students were Hispanic, 29% were White, and 13% parents in pursuing new forms of socializing and educating their were African American (Texas Education Agency, 2016). children beyond what public education is able to provide, and Data from the National Latina/o Leadership Project survey creating the environments that broaden and sustain the structures include 215 Latina/o school administrators and observed needed to significantly increase participation across all sectors their schooling experiences and how their background and of Latino community life. (p. 86) race impact their work as school leaders. Questions consid- ered for this study included the following: (a) Describe your This social responsibility is echoed across the diverse groups schooling experiences. (b) Has your racial/ethnic back- that compose Latinas/os in America, which comprised 54 ground create barriers in your work as a school administra- million in 2013 or 17% of the total U.S. population (Stepler tor? (c) Has your racial/ethnic background been a benefit in & Brown, 2015). your work as an administrator? Findings in this study show that the school administrators’ schooling experiences, suc- cesses, and barriers contributed to shape their professional Latina/o Leadership Literature role and the development of a professional identity. Scholars exploring Latina/o leadership like Bordas (2015) affirm that Latina/os possess leadership traits conducive to Rationale addressing the aforementioned crisis indicated by Nieto In 2006, the founder and president of the National Hispanic (2006). Bordas contends that Latinas/os come from a We- Institute, Ernesto Nieto (2006) indicated a need to organize orientation, or people-centered culture. In schools in need of Latinas/os in America to “influence thinking, alter the social improved performance, a leader who can build a cohesive trajectories and directions of collective bodies of Latinos, and culture can positively impact a campus culture. She reminds cause significant shifts in the social perspectives, beliefs, and us that Latinas/os grow up contributing to their families and outlooks of either various subsectors or the entirety of the communities since an early age, developing values such as Latino community” (p. 84). At the time, he defined this need cooperation, reciprocity, and generosity. as a Latina/o leadership crisis. He highlighted the importance Social and civic engagement is particularly important in of developing a community that (a) can recognize the ongo- fostering school change. When promoting social justice for ing collective capacity and effectiveness in enacting commu- diverse groups in schools is perceived as an important aspect nity-focused change and (b) can determine ways of creating a in improving schools (Anderson, 2009; Bogotch et al., 2008; critical mass for addressing internal conflicts, and included Jean-Marie et al., 2009; Theoharis, 2009), culture-centered considerations of Latina/o upbringing in the development of leadership can be considered of particular significance. an individual and national identity. Bordas (2015) indicated five fundamental principles Latinas/ Indeed, even though Latinas/os can be defined based on os carry, significant in building a culture-centered leader- cultural and collective values, there are internal differences ship. These are as follows: (a) An intergenerational spirit, among the several groups that compose the Hispanic com- related to how Latinas/os have maintained sight of the gen- munity. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) erational responsibility to work together toward a common differentiated Hispanics as Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, good; (b) the Latina/o leader as one among equals, nurturing South or Central American, or other Spanish-speaking back- shared governance and rotating responsibilities to cultivate grounds, regardless of race (Murakami, Valle, & Mendez- leadership in others and strengthening a We culture; (c) Morse, 2013). Each country’s background generates Juntos: a collective community stewardship toward short- variability in personal values and purpose. Such variability of term and long-term vision to remain focused on a step-by- Latinas/os also influences their development of a professional step process that counts on every small and large contribution; identity, which will vary due to language-base similarities, (d) Sí, se puede (Yes we can!) which relates to exercising but varied roots. Unifying this diversity is a call for the devel- social activism and coalition building, fostering a sense of opment of a Latina/o national voice and identity according to culture and community, advocating and participating in Nieto (2007) and Trueba (1999). issues of community concern; and finally (e) Gozar la vida— Trueba (1999) advocated for the development of a with quintessential leadership that promotes the celebration Latina/o cultural identity, stating that leaders should have of life through community celebrations, oral traditions, and “specific qualities of vision, biculturalism, multiple identi- storytelling that integrates history and cultural traditions. ties, the ability to code-switch and a profound commitment Similarly, Yosso (2005) has also identified six elements of to democratic ideals of fair participation in the political and cultural wealth that can impact the practice of school leaders. Murakami et al. 3 In this model, Yosso (2005) argued that students of color Barbara with the Center for New Racial Studies (n.d.) posits bring with them six forms of cultural capital that can be used as follows: to improve the outcomes. These capitals include aspiration, “Intersectionality” is the name that is now given to the complex language, familial support, social skills, navigational, and of reciprocal attachments and sometimes polarizing conflicts resistance capital. It would not be uncommon to think that that confront both individuals and movements as they seek to Latino school leaders have been able to bring these cultural “navigate” among the raced, gendered, and class-based wealth elements into their own leadership practice. dimensions of social and political life. Both as individuals Despite these potential qualities, Latina/o school adminis- seeking to make a socially just and fulfilling “everyday life,” trators are not necessarily largely represented nationally. The and as collectivities seeking to “make history” through political 2013 NCES condition of education report shows that from action and social movements, we struggle with the unstable 89,000 school administrators working in U.S. public schools, connections between race, gender, and class (para. 1). only 7% are Latinas/os, when compared with 80% White and 10% African Americans school administrators (Bitterman, Both Latina/o students and educational professionals may Goldring, & Gray, 2013). One of the considerations in this still be discriminated and treated as marginal to those expected study is whether a racial/ethnic background creates barriers to represent educational success (Holvino, 2008; Viruell- in the attainment of educational leadership positions. If the Fuentes, Miranda, & Abdulrahim, 2012). Analyzing immi- path to becoming a school administrator requires a teaching gration and health, Viruell-Fuentes et al. (2012) recognized background, the same report accounts for only 8% of that “becoming American involves contending with ideolo- Hispanic teachers represented nationwide. In states like gies that render them racial ‘minorities’ and the stigmatized Texas, where the racial diversity of students shows that 52% meanings that the racialized society ascribes to their specific of students are Latina/o, the number of school administrators group” (p. 2101). Holvino (2008) argued that work and schol- who could foster a specific culture-centered leadership for arship at the intersections of race, class, and gender are still the improvement of students seems conspicuously sparse. In underdeveloped. This sentiment extends to a generalized per- 2012, 1,742 Latina/o school administrators were identified in ception of people of color as racialized “others” reproducing the state of Texas, which may represent 2% of the overall inequality within an ethnoracial hierarchy (Collins, 1998, total considering the aforementioned NCES report. One of 2000; Viruell-Fuentes, 2007, 2011). Collins (2000) further the barriers for the small representation of Latinas/os in defined how an intersectionality of race, ethnicity, class, and school leadership positions may relate to continuing systems other social categories limits people of color’s access to suc- of oppression. cessful positions in society. By recognizing that Black wom- en’s experiences were also shaped by race and class (Collins, 1998, 2000), she showed that intersectionality further evi- Intersectionality of Race and Identity dences a system of oppression mutually constituted to work The diverse Latino population is the fastest growing in the together to produce inequality (Collins, 2000; Crenshaw, United States, has a burgeoning political and economic 1989). Although intersectionality has impacted feminist the- impact on the country, but still faces homogeneous categori- ory and critical race theory, a conceptual framework explor- zation. Oboler (1995) outlined that Hispanic and Latino ing intersectionality as impacting the professional identity labels are in fact abstractions of reality, and their usage may and opportunities for Latina/o school administrators is inevitably single out socially constructed attributes. That is, warranted. by accepting these labels, individuals may be subject to limi- When discussing ways that intersectionality works, it is tations related to race, gender, class, or language. Labels are important to consider that forms of oppression do not operate connected to attributes which may then be considered com- independently. Many forms of discrimination are intertwined mon to the group and can be used to create assumptions for with others and intersect within the various areas of race, the individuals in the group (Oboler, 1995). Lisa Garcia ethnic, socioeconomic, and even religious identities. This Bedolla (2005) argued that to understand the contradictions concept of intersectionality was first defined academically in and dilemmas that arise from Latino contact with reality, “An the 1980s (Crenshaw, 1989), but it has been subject to dis- analysis of the Latino experience in the United States must course since the early 1900s when women’s rights and femi- be situated at the intersection of power, collective nism began gaining traction. identity(ies), and place” (p. 4). The analysis of intersection- It may be easy to consider a specific form of racial oppres- ality of race and identity for Latinos, especially Latina/o edu- sion or discrimination as operating in a vacuum. For exam- cators, is critical as spaces of political power within the ple, when considering the victimization of gay youth, many spheres of education continue to situate Latino identity in leaders and administrators may simply see them as lesbian, marginalized contexts. gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth and ignore The Institute for Social, Behavioral, and Economic their membership in other minorities. However, personal Research (ISBER) out of the University of California Santa identity is fluid and multifaceted, and developing this sense 4 SAGE Open of identity is a complex and varied process. Similarly, a stu- and experiences (Gee, 2001; Stets & Burke, 2000). dent’s experience is not accurately described simply as being Mpungose (2010) adopted a humanistic perspective to gay and as being a religious minority—these experiences examine leadership and concluded that school intersect, intertwine, and influence each other. As such, when administrators created their own provisional selves, categorizing school leaders by minority membership only, building professional identities from their own experiences one runs the risk of stereotyping and reductionist attitudes and professional knowledge. Mpungose (2010) further toward understanding their work and life. At the intersection explained that provisional selves relates to temporary of race and other professional identities, for example, an solutions school administrators may use to close a gap individual may attribute their experiences to a single cate- between their current capacities, and ideas they may hold gory (gender), to a different category (race), or to many cat- about attitudes and behaviors that may be expected in their egories at once (language, gender, and race), which, in turn, roles. In fact, Helena and Abrahao (2002) contended that in shapes their perception of the experience. education, it is hard to separate the personal from the professional, especially when considering the leadership role, which may directly relate with values and ideals in a Conceptual Framework position that can be very demanding in its commitment to The conceptual framework of intersectionality is the lens human relations. The examination of intersectionality employed to examine Latina/o school administrators in this among Latina/o school administrators and their personal study. Dill and Zambrana (2009) defined intersectionality as a and professional identity illuminates a critical and political critical lens to interrogate race, ethnicity, class, ability, age, examination of “behaviors, attitudes, and values prevalent nation, sexuality, and gender within structures of inequality. within American society” (Lopez-Class, Gonzales Castro, Collins further contextualized intersectionality within a sys- & Ramirez, 2011, p. 1558). One final note regarding labels tem that politically constructs these categories within a hier- and the designation of ethnic identity as it relates to this archy of social organization, which defines the experiences of study. Without a doubt, the United States is experiencing people of color, which, in her study, explored the lives of unprecedented demographic changes as it relates to Black females. Holvino (2008) stated the relationship between Spanish-speaking individuals; however, sometimes it is women and men of color is “the area in which feminists of unclear on the label that should be used to describe this colour have made fewer inroads . . . because intergroup eth- rising population. The researchers of this study have agreed nic/racial conflict creates the need for little-questioned soli- to use the term Latino, which is short for latinoamericano. darity in order to survive” (Hurtado, 1996, p. 381). In this We use “Latino” because it was created within the Latino study, we explore intersectionality as influencing the profes- community, connotes common values but leaves room for sional identity of school administrators. individual differences and does not strip people of their Professional identity relates to the evolving nature of historical identity. defining an individual’s professional role. Beijaard, Meijer, and Verloop (2004) asserted that professional identity “is not Method a fixed attribute of a person, but a relational phenomenon” (p. 108). In educational leadership, Scribner and Crow This study recruited 231 participants via email invitations, (2012) explored the professional identity of school leaders as which described the study as a Texas-wide survey of Latina/o an important investigation of personal and professional val- superintendents, principals, and assistant principals. ues beyond the achievement of technical skills. When explor- Developed as a state-specific project in the National Latino ing the development of a professional identity, Gee (2001) Leadership Project (NLLP), its purpose is to further identify reflected that “one cannot have an identity of any sort with- characteristics about leadership style and career paths. The out some interpretive system” (p. 107). DeRue and Ashford NLLP represents a 10-year collaboration among Latina/o (2010) further argued that a leader identity is both an internal scholars from universities across the country. cognition and a socially constructed cognition that build on The initial NLLP project began through discussion the interplay between leader and follower. Considering the around common leadership questions and evolved into a effect of intersectionality among Latina/o school administra- large-scale study of Latina/o school leaders. In 2007, a tors, it is important to explore how Latinas/os interpreted group of scholars conducted the first national survey of their experiences to build their professional identity. Latina/o school administrators and presented the findings of In states like Texas, where the context of traditionally this first every national survey at various national conven- underserved students limits the opportunity for success, tions and international research conferences in subsequent the pipeline from student to educational professional can years. NLLP investigated the representation of Latina/o be examined to explore the negotiation of one’s identity in assistant school administrators in the United States, includ- relation to oppressive systems and societal participation. ing their challenges and aspirations. Some of the following Scholars indeed asserted that identity involves an under- questions composed the initial survey: (a) What are the standing of self, and it is influenced by their social context demographics of Latina/o assistant school administrators? Murakami et al. 5 (b) Where do Latina/o assistant school administrators work? administrators, and benefits of race/ethnicity within their (c) What types of challenges do Latina/o assistant school work. Short essay questions in this study included the fol- administrators face? and (d) What are likely future aspira- lowing: (a) Describe your own schooling experiences. (b) tions of Latina/o assistant school administrators? The initial To what extent has your racial/ethnic background created study evidenced Latinas/o leaders’ willingness to serve in barriers in your work as an administrator? (c) What are the highly diverse high-need communities where their impact biggest challenges you face in your work as a school admin- would be meaningful in promoting student improvement istrator? (d) What are the biggest successes you face in your (Murakami, Hernandez, Mendez-Morse, & Byrne-Jimenez, work as a school administrators? and (e) To what extent has 2016). your racial/ethnic background been a benefit in your work as an administrator? Race and ethnicity were terms included in the questions and offered as interchangeable (grouped). Context of the Study and Instrumentation They were left to be defined by the participants due to the Texas was selected for the statewide study because it is one high intersectionality variation in backgrounds and cultures of the largest states in the United States employing a high among Hispanics. number of Latina/o school leaders. The state is also home to the faster growing Latino population. Based on the feedback Data Analysis received from the first study from participants in 2007, sur- vey questions were changed and survey section questions Each question was analyzed separately informed by the con- were reduced in numbers. The initial survey was first mod- ceptual framework and includes all qualitative responses, eled after the School and Staffing Survey (SASS) that was considering confirming and disconfirming data. Ethical con- last given in 2011-2012. However, NLLP survey, unlike the siderations included the anonymity of individual responses SASS survey, included questions related to gender, race, and masked geographical location. Descriptive and content leadership style, barriers, and successes to effective leader- analyses were the approaches employed for this study. ship. Although this study specifically looks at professional A descriptive analysis was used to summarize the data, por- identity and the intersectionality of race, the larger survey traying important characteristics and features of the data pro- was divided into three broad categories: school demograph- vided by the participants (Coladarci, Cobb, Minium, & ics, career path, and leadership identity (Murakami et al., Clarke, 2011). Content analysis was used to add to the 2016). These three categories were further subdivided into descriptive approach by coding of the data and an interpreta- 10 sections: tion of qualitative responses for each survey question (Downe-Wamboldt, 1992; Mayring, 2000). The content •• School context: general school information, school analysis was conducted by examining similar words used by performance, responsibilities participants. In addition, the short essay questions were •• Career path: professional development, leadership coded and grouped into themes based on the content of each style/practice, experience/training, successes/ answer. At the end, the researchers were able to identify the challenges main patterns found in the short answers. An inductive pro- •• Leadership identity: gender/ethnicity, barriers, per- cess was used for the content analysis, considering related sonal background. studies based on variables considered. In other words, the researchers were committed to allowing the data to speak for Participants’ email addresses were obtained from the state itself and to place it within the conceptual framework. Below, of Texas education records, which tracks school administra- the findings are discussed. tors demographic data. Participants were expected to take 10 min to complete the survey which included both short essay Findings response and Likert-type scale formats (Murakami et al., 2016). The survey instrument was distributed during the The findings reveal the intersectionality of race and class as spring of 2015. The instrument was distributed again during influencing the work of school administrators, who described the following summer and fall. A reminder email was sent their schooling experiences as leading to the development of out every 3 to 5 days to prompt the participants to take the their professional identities. To provide contextual informa- survey. In all, the survey was available for approximately 3 tion in relation to the respondents, we first include demo- weeks. This study reflects the responses of 226 school graphic data to inform the responses. Also included are rates administrators in the state, 57% were female and 43% male, of responses to the questions, followed by answers to open- with ages ranging between 33 and 68. Eighty-seven respon- ended sections provided for each of the questions, which dents were U.S. born. included reflections on their experiences growing up in Variables considered as influencing the professional schools; the extent their racial/ethnic background created identity of Latina/o school leaders included schooling, bar- barriers in their work as an administrator; and challenges in riers due to racial/ethnic background, challenges as school their leadership. 6 SAGE Open “delegative” and only 16 participants indicated a very auto- Demographical Characteristics cratic leadership style. In addition, 81% indicated that a men- This study included 216 participants, of which 91 were males tor was important in attaining the position they currently and 125 females. Fifty-eight percent of participants self- hold; 74% indicated that they currently serve as a mentor or identified as Hispanic. Others self-identified as Mexican role model to another aspiring professional. Forty-two per- (20%) and Latina/o (7%). The participants ranged from 28 to cent of salaries among school administrators ranged from 73 years of age (M = 47.45, SD = 9.04). Less than 1% (N = US$70,000 to US$90,000 a year, with 34% reporting earn- 2) identified as Puerto Rican, and 9% of the participants ings of US$90,000 to US$110,000 a year. Only 21 partici- identified as “Other.” Eighty-six percent of participants were pants indicated they were earning more than US$110,000. U.S. born. Ten percent were born in Mexico and 3% selected Salaries for males and females did not differ. “Other.” Of the U.S. born participants, 88% (N = 162) were born in Texas. Early Schooling Experiences In terms of languages spoken, 90% of participants reported fluency in Spanish beyond English proficiency. As Participants were asked how they would describe their school educators, these participants spoke Spanish mainly with stu- experiences. We considered the focus on early school experi- dents and their families. Sixty-one percent of the participants ences as affecting not only individuals in schools but also reported that their racial or ethnic background positively their health (i.e., Cummins, 1986; Kumanyika & Grier, impacted their work as an administrator: Sixty-six percent of 2006). Latinos and African American students are more com- the participants indicated that their racial or ethnic back- monly the focus of interventions. Hardships threatening their ground has helped them connect with students (with 14% academic success often are related with language and pov- responding as “neutral”). Also, 76% of the participants erty. However, it is important to consider Cummins’s (1986) reported that their ethnicity did not present a barrier in their observation that while interventions are often implemented work as administrators, selecting “rarely” or “never” when with positive intent, these have not necessarily proved to asked whether ethnicity created barriers or problems in their alter the relationships between educators and students of work as administrators. color, nor the relationship between schools and communities The school administrators indicated their highest level of of color. In our intent to learn about those Latina/o students education. Twenty percent of participants reported to have a who presented an interest in becoming teachers and adminis- doctorate degree, 63% had master’s degrees, 16% declared trators, we inquired whether Latinas/os who became teachers having an education specialist certification, and 2% indi- and subsequently school administrators were students who cated a bachelor’s degree as their highest degree. From the did not necessarily experience difficult relationships in sample, the majority of participants (81%) were serving as schools. Indeed, very fewer school administrators communi- school administrators and 10% were serving in the superin- cated their experiences in school as negative. However, this tendency role. was not always the case. Surprisingly, 6% of the participants The participants shared information about their formal communicated that their experiences in school were nega- preparation. Besides principals and superintendents, seven tive. On the flipside, only 37% of school administrators participants indicated they were assistant principals, and 11 expressed their experiences as very positive. Many expressed indicated they served in other administrative positions. that their experience in school presented a gamut of both Eighty-three participants acquired their principal or superin- positive and negative aspects (see Figure 1). tendent certification at a public university, whereas 10% Many of the participants contributed with open-ended attended private institutions. Few participants declared earn- positive responses. These responses showed the influential ing their degrees from an online university (n = 4) or a liberal role of teachers. Respondents who added comments to nega- arts college (n = 1). As undergraduates, 27% of participants tive experiences sections of the Likert-type scale instrument (n = 57) indicated they began their education at a community (i.e., Figure 1, Options 1, 2, or 3) shared memories of the college. The majority of participants (75%) indicated that following interactions with teachers: they were “well prepared” or “very well prepared” when Based on the responses, categorized under negative expe- they began their current position. riences in school, it is clear that many of these experiences The school administrators reported that on average, their were related to the leader’s racial identity, including the experiences as students in school were very positive. intersectionality of language and ethnicity. For example, Seventy-six percent responded that their experiences ranged when participants use words such as “discriminated” and from “positive” to “very positive.” Overwhelmingly, partici- “had donkey ears put on my head,” this can have traumatic pants also cited the role of mentors in choosing administra- results for children. Other leaders who wrote about negative tive work. Seventy-nine percent of school leaders indicated experiences reflected on their treatment for speaking their that mentorship played a significant role in their develop- native language and being Hispanic, pointing again to the ment of leadership skills and style. The school leaders indi- intersectionality of race and language. Two of the leaders cated that their leadership style was “democratic” or wrote about the physical punishment for speaking Spanish. Murakami et al. 7 Figure 1. Latina/o school administrators’ schooling experiences. Among responses indicating school experiences were experiences, with strong intersectionality between negative both positive and negative (survey responses with a Likert- experiences and race, and negative experiences and lan- type response 4), the influence of teachers is evidenced. guage. Furthermore, it was clear that the participants in the Open-ended responses included the following: study could recognize the teachers who cared about and for These leaders express that while they had both positive them. Looking back at their schooling experiences and and negative experiences in school, most of their negative acknowledging both the good and the bad, these Latina/o experiences centered on issues related to language, Spanish school leaders knew which teachers empathized with them names, and being isolated from other students. As they and could understand their experiences. Even though respon- reflected in the survey, they also experienced lower expecta- dents are between 33 and 68 years old, it was hard as a tions from teachers and questions about their cognitive abili- research group to understand how corporate punishment was ties based on language skills only. Despite these negative used to encourage learning. experiences, the Latina/o school leaders persevered and When race is the focus of building individual identity, we made the best of their experiences. critically considered the racial composition of teacher/student School administrators who responded having positive associations and intersections in these responses considering experiences, similarly relate those experiences as being the likelihood that these students were served by a teacher influenced by teachers and the importance of being validated demographic that accounts for 65% White teachers and 22% in their efforts. Interestingly, not all open-ended responses Hispanic in the state of Texas (Bitterman, Goldring, and Gray, were only positive as follows: 2013). The influence of White teachers and dominant racial All responses analyzed indicate the strong influence of ideologies are evidenced in the responses, aligning with adults in determining these school administrators schooling Picower (2009) and others who call for the importance of 8 SAGE Open Table 1. Latina/o School Administrators’ Negative Schooling Experiences. - I was ability grouped - Teachers would not help. I was discriminated and had donkey ears put on my head. - When I was in first grade, my teacher used a ruler to hit me on my hands for speaking Spanish. - Corporal punishment was administered for speaking other than English - Many of my Hispanic classmates were tracked into vocational career paths - There were low expectations - There were no role models. Gangs were the only people one could relate with. Table 2. Latina/o School Administrators’ Positive or Negative School Supports. - In Elementary school I was not allowed to speak Spanish and would get punished if I did. I was retained in the 4th grade becaus e transitioning to English was hard for me. After I finally transitioned 5th-6th grade school was easy and fun for me. That’s why I chose both! - We came back to the U.S. when I turned 8 years old. I was in third grade. I was moved to 1st grade because I didn’t speak Eng lish. The bilingual program had a sink or swim mentality. The rigor was not the same and I learned to be compliant. - I attended school in Indiana and experienced much prejudice and loss of opportunity due to my “name.” It was often explained to me by teachers that if I had not been born in Mexico I would understand. - Some teachers were kind; others were biased and showed favoritism. - I was teased growing up because I was in the bilingual program. - Environments lacking diversity or Latino groups were the most challenging as a student. - I attended school. Did the best I could. - Attended school in Mexico until 9th grade; completed high school in the U.S. As an English Language Learner (ELL) student, I wa s often sent elsewhere to work. This made me feel inferior. - When in high school, I didn’t realize why I never made it into the top class. Later, I understood! That class was for monoling ual English students only, not only top academic students. - My transition to the U.S. was rough since I didn’t know the language. My parents and I had very little knowledge on how the sys tem works. I was placed in very basic classes, based on my language barrier, which lowered my expectations. As a consequence I was not prepared for college and had to take remedial classes. This was discouraging at first but I finally overcame this setbacks. Table 3. Latina/o School Administrators’ Positive Schooling Experiences. - I had some great teachers in certain grades. - I had great, supportive teachers who truly cared about my education. They helped me overcome challenges and inspired me. - I was pushed academically at home and school and I had a positive self-esteem of myself when it came to school. - Since I was strong academically, I had a lot of teachers encourage me. However, there were times when some teachers put me do wn just because I am a Latina. - White teachers didn’t always treat Hispanics the way they should have. - I had teachers who understood me as a person, and as a learner who I enjoyed, but also had experiences with teachers who I did not like. - Variation in expectations and teacher empowerment. - Because my parents had it so unfair, my attitude was a more positive because I didn’t experience what they did in school. Altho ugh, thinking back, there were incidents that I would call not right. - I enjoyed going to school. I did not realize the discrimination at the time. Now that I reflect on it I realize there were ma ny instances of discrimination that I accepted since that is what I was expected to do. - I was a migrant so I went to school in Texas and Louisiana. My parents did not allow for excuses so they always supported the school. - Being the first generation born in the U.S., my parents had high expectations for me. I did everything I could not to let them down. I’m the eldest in my family, and my parents always reminded me that I set the example for my siblings. - I experienced a wonderful but very sheltered matriarchal upbringing in the 60s in McAllen, Texas. I loved my barrio, La Paloma. Barrio back then had a positive connotation. That little barrio produced many first generation college students who are now lawyers, doctors, pharmacists, meteorologists, engineers, and educators like myself. Life was great as a 2nd generation Mexican-American. I did not know I was poor or a minority or bilingual until I came to Houston in the late 70s to go to college. Perception is everything. examining these critical intersections. Important to consider schooling experiences. In relation to students’ perceived is Bernal, Knight, Ocampo, Garza, and Cota’s (1993) obser- interventions, the responses showed that in some instances, vation that Latina/o students are aware that schools are even when interventions were in place, neither students nor “social, cultural, and political contexts” (p. 135) early in their parents were fully informed about them. These responses Murakami et al. 9 Figure 2. Latina/o school administrators’ race/ethnicity background as contributing to understanding the experiences of students of color. confirm Cummins’s (1986) point about the importance of the group, or intergroup realities. This means that there is diver- need to improve not only interventions but also the relation- sity not only in America but also within groups, such as ships between educators and students. Latinas/os. As we can find Mexican families who are indig- enous to colonized states like Texas, as well as immigrant families from Mexico, we also acknowledgee other back- Latinas/o School Administrators Connecting With grounds such as Puerto Ricans, Cubans, South Americans, Students of Color and others, as families and children served by Latinas/os. Following on their intersectionality considerations in the The heterogeneity is often ignored, where “glossing over development of a professional identity, we asked school identifictions based on national origin can be problematic” administrators to reflect on the extent of their racial/ethnic (Ferdman & Gallegos, 2001, p. 35). Hence, the importance background as contributing in connecting with the experi- to reveal whether Latinas/os would be prone to articulate if ences of students of color (Figure 2). The rationale behind they identified with the experiences with students of color. the connections of Latinas/os and students of color relates to Not surprisingly, their responses varied. observations made by Ferdman and Gallegos (2001), who Seventy-eight participants recognized an intersection argue that individual identity develops in the context of a between their racial background and the experiences of 10 SAGE Open Table 4. Latina/o School Administrators Who Do Not Perceive connection between Latina/o administrators and students. Race/Ethnicity Background as Significant to the Experiences of For example, Ferdman and Gallegos (2001) questioned what Students of Color. factors lead to each orientation. In consideration is that much still needs to be explored about “What is the role of variables - I don’t see it as a benefit or deterrents. - Not aware of anything. [in developing an identity] such as external stressors, per- - Only for Hispanic schools. ceived threats from others to oneself, or to one’s group, rela- tionships with other people, language use, and ability, phenotype, and family composition?” (p. 54). Table 5. Latina/o School Administrators Who Perceive Race/ Ethnicity Background as Significant to the Experiences of Students of Color. Latinas/o School Administrators Capitalizing on Race/Ethnicity - I generally believe it has been a nonissue, though I believe some of the parents I have worked with have found comfort in Considering the school administrators’ experiences in my ability to speak Spanish. schools, the NLLP survey sought to examine the participants’ - It has been a great benefit since the majority of our students, preparation as a school administrator. For the most part, a staff and parents are Hispanic. Being able to communicate in Spanish has been an additive in increasing trust with our large majority of participants responded they felt prepared students and parents. for the position. Seventy-five percent of those surveyed indi- - The ethnicity has not but the ability to speak Spanish has been. cated they felt well or very well prepared for their first - The ability to communicate with our Bilingual families in their administrative job. Within their preparedness, we asked a language. question that would include race/ethnicity in their prepara- - As a bilingual educator, it has opened more doors, especially in tion, which bring together their experiences. We asked how Title 1, predominately Hispanic student population schools. the Latina/o school administrators perceived their race and - I can relate to my students and faculty. ethnicity background as benefiting their work. In a previous NLLP national study, school administrators were divided students of color (Likert-type responses 4-7). There was a between those who perceived race/ethnicity as a barrier and representative response from participants who did not per- those who did not. In studying Latina/o adminstrators in ceive their racial background as associated with students of Texas, we found a similar pattern where respondents were color in their schools. Their identity has been explored by divided about their race/ethnicity as benefiting their work. Ferdman and Gallegos (2001), who assert that some Latinas/ Murakami et al. (2016) found similar concerns about those os may carry an undifferentiated orientation, where they see indicating a void between their race/ethnicity background people of color as “just people.” The authors explain that and their position. Respondents in the Texas study were some Latinas/os may accept the dominant norms of the U.S. divided in recognizing how their racial/ethnic background society and perceive to view people distinct from their racial been a benefit in their work as administrators. This question or ethnic identity. Ferdman and Gallegos (2001) suggested provoked a larger range of both likert-type and open-ended that these Latinos may take a “color blind” perspective when responses, as it connects upbringing experiences and the considering their own racial identity. Moreover, these authors development of a professional identity (Figure 3): assert that when these particular Latinos encounter barriers, When school administrators were asked whether their they attribute them to behavior rather than to race, racism, or race/ethnicity background benefited the work of school their Latinoness. Studies in educational leadership may administrators, more than 12% of respondents indicated that explain this behavior when recognizing race may compro- race/ethnicity did not benefit them as professionals. Those mise their own profession. For school administrators of responding not at all (Likert-type option 1) did not add open- color, they have to be very careful when recognizing their ended comments. Eleven percent of participants responding skills because the intent is not to further dismiss instances of that race/ethnicity was not necessarily benefiting their work discrimination but to address inequalities. Nonetheless, those (Likert-type options 2 and 3) added the following open- who responded not perceiving a connection between their ended comments: own upbringing and potential connections with students of Fifteen percent of participants were neutral in perceiving if color added comments as shown in Table 4. race/ethnicity benefited their work. It is clear that some of the Those indicating their racial background as contributing leaders that completed the survey are not aware of how their to an understanding the experiences of students of color own racial and ethnic identity impacts their work as school added comments as shown in Table 5. leaders. Their open-ended comments included the following: The implications of race in the development of a school More than 60% of respondents perceived race/ethnicity as leader’s professional identity are indeed complex as demon- benefiting to some degree (Likert-type options 5, 6, and 7). strated by the responses. Language and kinship were seen as These school administrators added an overwhelming number benefits. There seems to be more to be learned about a of comments when compared with other options in this Murakami et al. 11 Figure 3. Latina/os race and ethnicity background as benefiting the work of school administrators. question. In their open-ended responses, Latina/o school recognize the diverse backgrounds of their students. This is administrators suggest a strong connection between their noted as some leaders express the idea that they can see them- race/ethnicity and their professional identity as school selves in the lives of their students. Their capacity to see them- administrators especially based on (a) common upbringing, selves in the eyes of their students connects these Latino school (b) common language and culture, and (c) being a role model. leaders with their students on a much profound level, which is beyond the conventional principal–student connection. Common upbringing. The respondents recognized that students and parents felt connected to them due to their racial/ethnic Latina/o school administrator as a role model. An important asset background. They included comments such as follows: benefiting students, teachers, and parents related to the Latina/o school administrator as a role model (Table 10). Respondents Common language and culture. Latina/o school administrators perceived they could positively influence multiple stakeholders. demonstrated that language and culture were assets they brought Their comments included the following: to parents and students. Comments as detailed in Table 9 The question of how race and ethnicity background benefit included the following: the work of school administrators received an extraordinary In the last two sections, it is clear that the leaders’ lived expe- number of open-ended comments. The participants felt more riences have provided them with the ability to comprehend and comfortable in responding to this question as opposed to the 12 SAGE Open Table 6. Latina/o School Administrators Who Perceive Race/Ethnicity Background as Not Benefiting Their Work. - I love all of my students regardless of race. - I don’t feel my racial/ethnic background contributes to connections, or lack thereof, formed by students. - I have rare opportunities to work with students of color but find no difficulty in doing so when the opportunity arises. - I don’t really think that it helps, but it doesn’t hurt. - It benefits when students feel that they are being picked on because of their color or race - I have not always been aware of this, but I believe some students have identified with me due to a common cultural heritage. - My past experiences have given me excellent insight into the struggles faced by students of color. Table 7. Latina/o School Administrators Neutral About Race/Ethnicity Background as Benefiting Their Work. - I build relationships with kids and don’t pay too much attention to what color they are. - Students and parents seem to trust my decisions. - Parents appear to relate better to me. - Although being Hispanic in a predominately Hispanic region, and I could use that to relate to the students, I believe it was mo re my socioeconomic status growing up that helped relate to students of the same economic status. - Being able to speak both languages is a huge benefit to communicating effectively with parents. - Familiar with the cultural “hidden rules” that helps me build relationships with all stakeholders. - Being of Hispanic decent has allowed me to connect to the students of color because we are able to see commonalities or shared ground with respect to being minorities. - I can relate linguistically and my personality relates to all ethnicities - I don’t believe me being Hispanic has affected how I connect with students. I attribute the way I am able to connect with stude nts to my upbringing. - It’s not about color. It’s about relationships. Table 8. Latina/o School Administrators’ Connections With Common Race/Ethnicity Upbringing. - I have been in their shoes. - We have the same educational experiences - I often use my stories and experiences as the first person in my family to graduate from college to inspire my students. - I have been able to rely on my experiences growing up and have been able to share with a few kids to prevent them from going do wn a wrong path. At the end of the day it’s about choice. - The hardships and judgements I have personally been subjected to have been based on economic standing more than race/ethnicity. - Based on some student’s background, they may see me making more connections and understand them better because our skin is the same color, however, what they may not initially realize is that the connections and interactions I have with students/teachers/ parents are not dependent on race or ethnicity. It is dependent on the value I place on all humanity. - The Hispanic population (which is over 85%) on my campus seem excited and happy and work extremely hard. I think that they fee l that they can relate to me since I come from a similar background. - Students enjoy hearing my stories regarding my past and overcoming obstacles. - I was able to relay my personal experiences and successes to the families, students and teachers. - I maintain a sense of identity with the families and having worked in industry for 16 years prior to education, I have been a ble to pragmatically build good relationships with minorities. Table 9. Latina/o School Administrators’ Connections With Common Language and Culture. - They see themselves in me and feel more comfortable talking to me in English or Spanish. - My culture and traditions helped me connect with my sudents at my campus. - Bilingual students can relate to my own personal experience - I live and work in a community with a large percentage of Hispanic families. Speaking Spanish and being Hispanic makes me more approachable for some families. - Hispanic students can relate easier to Hispanic administrators. - As with most situations when people speak a common language, Spanish-speaking students find me more approachable then the non- Spanish speaking administrators. - Students see that someone of their ethnicity can make it. I can relate to their experiences - Most of the schools I served has been with students of the same ethnic background so I’ve been able to use my language and background in order to connect with students. - Most of our students of color are from interracial relationships. It is easy to relate with them. - Connections to culture. Also growing up in Dallas and attending Dallas ISD public schools has allowed me to embrace the variet y of cultures of both the Hispanic and African American communities. - This has been extremely beneficial because we have a commonality and usually I am able to relate to their background, customs, language, and other life experiences that are shaped by culture. - I’m multiethnic and I believe that it has been to my advantage in working with all of my students. Murakami et al. 13 Table 10. Latina/o School Administrators’ as Role Models. - My background has been an advantage because it has allowed me to have perspective and empathy without facing a vast amount of personal prejudice and bias. - Teachers of color feel like they to can move up professionally. - Being the only one of a very few in this position, I’ve certainly been a resource for students and parents. - I can empathize without feeling sorry for students, I show them that education is key to come out of poverty. - Some students had never seen an administrator or teacher be of Hispanic background. It affirms to the students that anything is possible and that it can be done if they have a growth mindset. - The students and parents love knowing that someone of their ethnicity is in a leadership role. - It is a great plus as an administrator. They understand that I am like them. - The majority of my student population is Hispanic. I connect to them as one of their own, however, more importantly I connect to them as a person, not just a Hispanic Principal. - I make students understand that it is very possible for students of color to achieve. - I believe some students who are minorities feel a sense of comfort and pride when they see that their principal is also a minority. I like to think I am a good role model for them. - It is important for students to see various ethnic backgrounds in leadership roles. This allows them to relate to a leader . . . and to aspire to be one. - There is a sense of connection and understanding. They trust me more than my other counterparts. - Being Hispanic in a school that is 96% Hispanic has been a very positive experience and has allowed more parents to feel comfortable coming to school and being more involved. We still have a long way to go, but speaking the language and being able to relate to both students and parents has been a major asset. - I think the students and parents feel that as a person of color they can communicate with me better than they can with others who are not of color. - Students to me are “sacred” regardless of race or color. I am committed to making sure that all my students receive the best quality of education. Race is not an issue for me as an educator. I see all my students as my own children and I want the best for them. - My background has been extremely beneficial in working with our students. It has helped me to connect and build positive relationships with my students. - I am a role model, I feel like I am their dad—I treat them with respect and take care of them as if they were my own children. I am their biggest champion! - I have had several Hispanic parents tell me that they are thankful I am at my campus. They appreciate the Spanish newsletters, emails and callouts. - Since working at Title 1 campuses the make up of student population is usually Hispanic thus students can relate to seeing someone who look like them and speaks like them. - More important than my racial/ethnic background helping to connect with students, is my belief than I must first show the students how much I care before I show them how much I know. - Personal experiences are countless in the number of times both students and parents did not realize that I was bilingual. As a fair- skinned Hispanic, with an Anglo surname through marriage, they incorrectly assume that I am not bilingual. However, once the Spanish flows . . . all is appreciated and respected instantaneously. - To be a Hispanic male has helped me as I work with many Hispanic students and families today. Students immediately understand that I have gone through many of the same experiences that they have been through growing up Hispanic. This places us on the same level as we speak about goals and overcoming obstacles.This includes other ethnic origins. question about connecting with students of color. The school school administrators. Their responses were rich in evi- administrators confirmed many of the Latina/o capitals listed dencing common early schooling experiences. These expe- by Yosso (2005), including the importance of a common riences were not often devoid of racism and discrimination. upbringing, common language, and culture. The awareness of Despite these hardships, these individuals opted to have a being a role model for both students and adults was an indica- career in education. It was important to remind ourselves of tion that these administrators were critical in their roles and the low number of Latinas/os in administrative positions in intentional in their investments to improve the experiences of the United States. Therefore, we recognize how this study those in schools. These leaders also ultilized their own experi- could not include questions that could jeopardize their ences with discrimination to develop high levels of empathy work. for their diverse students. Although still holding their students Nonetheless, they were candid in recognizing how race and to high expectation, these Latino school leaders understood ethnicity affect their work. When race is the focus of building that parents saw them as an advocate for their chilren because an individual’s professional identity, we also critically consid- of their racial and ethnic backgrounds. ered the racial composition of teacher/student associations and intersections in these responses. We especially considered the likelihood that these administrators, when children, were Discussion served by a teacher demographic that is less White, but still The lessons provided by the findings in this research reveal accounts for 65% White teachers and 22% Hispanic in the that much is still to be explored about the impact of Latina/o state of Texas (NCES, 2013). 14 SAGE Open The influence of White teachers and dominant racial ide- Bernal, M. E., Knight, G. P., Ocampo, K. A., Garza, C. A., & Cota, M. K. (1993). Ethnic identity: Formation and transmis- ologies are evidenced in the responses, aligning with Picower sion among Hispanics and other minorities. Albany: State (2009) and others who call for the importance of examining University of New York Press. these critical intersections. Important to consider is Bernal Bitterman, A., Goldring, R., & Gray, L. (2013). Characteristics of et al.’s (1993) observation that Latina/o students are aware public and private elementary and secondary school teachers that schools are “social, cultural, and political contexts” in the United States: Results from the 2011–12 schools and (p. 135) early in their schooling experiences. In relation to staffing survey. National Center for education Statistics, U.S. students’ perceived interventions, the responses showed that Department of Education. in some instances, even when interventions were in place, Bogotch, I., Beachum, F., Blount, J., Brooks, J. S., & English, F. W. neither students nor parents were fully informed about them. (2008). Radicalizing educational leadership: Toward a theory These responses confirm Cummins’s (1986) point about the of social justice. The Netherlands: Sense Publishers. importance of the need to improve not only interventions but Bordas, J. (2015). Leadership by the many: The power of Latino inclusion. Leader to Leader, 75, 56-63. doi:10.1002/ltl.20167 also the relationships between educators and students. We Coladarci, T., Cobb, C. D., Minium, E. D., & Clarke, R. C. (2011). wondered whether teachers dealing with issues of discrimi- Fundamentals of statistical reasoning in education. Hoboken, nation among Latinas/os would consider that these children NJ: John Wiley. might want to have a job as a teacher and eventually become Collins, P. H. (1998). It’s all in the family: Intersections of gender, a school administrator in the future. race, and nation. Hypatia, 13(3), 62-82. We hope this study can be further developed to include Collins, P. H. (2000). Black feminist thought: Knowledge, con- the preparation of teachers for delivering intervention pro- sciousness, and the politics of empowerment (2nd ed.). NY: grams that promote the success of Latinas/os and students of Routledge. color. With the help of school adminisrators who once expe- Crenshaw, K. (1989). Demarginalizing the intersection of race and rienced these programs and interventions, ways to improve sex: A Black feminist critique of antidiscrimination doctrine, the experiences of Latinas/os in schools could be further feminist theory and antiracist politics. University of Chicago Legal Forum, 1989, 139-167. explored. In addition, the positive influence of Latina/o lead- Cummins, J. (1986). Empowering minority students: A framework ers as role models of color merits exploration, especially for intervention. Harvard Educational Review, 56, 18-37. because some of these school administrators sorely missed doi:10.17763/haer.56.1.b327234461607787 someone to whom they could trust when growing up. DeRue, D. S., & Ashford, S. J. (2010). Who will lead and who will Similarly, an environment where school administrators do follow? A social process of leadership identity construction in not feel threatened in their intent to support others to succeed organizations. 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Whitherspoon (Eds.), Antiracist ory discussion of community cultural wealth. Race Ethnicity school leadership: Toward Equity in Education for America’s and Education, 8, 69-91. Students (pp. 49-74). Charlotte, NC: Information Age. Murakami, E., Hernandez, F., Mendez-Morse, S., & Byrne- Author Biographies Jimenez, M. (2016). Latina/o school principals: Identity, lead- ership, and advocacy. International Journal of Leadership in Elizabeth Murakami, PhD is a professor and Mike Moses Endowed Education, 19, 280-299. Chair in educational leadership at the University of North Texas. She Murakami, E., Valle, F., & Mendez-Morse, S. (2013). Latina/o earned her master’s in curriculum and teaching and doctor of philoso- learners and academic success: Si se Puede! In L. C. Tillman phy degree in educational administration at Michigan State University. & J. J. Scheurich (Eds.), Handbook of research on educational Before becoming a professor, she worked in American international leadership for equity and diversity (pp. 134-176). New York, schools in Latin America for 14 years. Her research has been dedicated NY: Routledge. to the academic success of Latin populations from P-20 to advanced National Center for Education Statistics. (2002). Statistical professions in education, generating research and pedagogy publica- Standards Program. Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/stat- tions in prestigious journals such as Academe, Journal of Studies in prog/2002/std1_5.asp Higher Education, the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Nieto, E. (2007). In the Midst of a Latino Leadership Crisis. Education, Journal of School Leadership, Educational Management Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy, 19, 83-92. Administration and Leadership (EMAL), and the Journal of School Oboler, S. (1995). Ethnic labels, Latino lives: Identity and the Administration and Supervision, and the volumes include Abriendo politics of (re)presentation in the United States. Minneapolis: Puertas, Cerrando Heridas (Opening Doors, Closing Wounds): University of Minnesota Press. Latinas/os Finding Work–Life Balance in Academia and Brown-Eyed Picower, B. (2009). The unexamined Whiteness of teaching: Leaders of the Sun: A Portrait of Latina/o Educational Leaders. How White teachers maintain and enact dominant racial ideologies. Race Ethnicity and Education, 12, 197-215. Frank Hernandez, PhD, holds the Annette and Harold Simmons doi:10.1080/13613320902995475 Centennial Chair in education policy and leadership and serves as Race/Gender/Class “Intersectionality” (n.d.). Retrieved from http:// the associate dean in the Simmons School of Education & Human www.uccnrs.ucsb.edu/intersectionality Development at Southern Methodist University (SMU). Prior to his Scribner, S. P., & Crow, G. M. (2012). Employing professional work at SMU, he served as dean of the College of Education at the identities: Case study of a high school principal in a reform University of Texas of the Permian Basin (Odessa, TX). He cur- setting. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 11, 243-274. doi:10 rently has four lines of inquiry that have guided most of his research: .1080/15700763.2012.654885 Latinos and school leadership, Latino racial identity development, Stepler, R., & Brown, A. (2015). Statistical portrait of Hispanics in inclusive leadership for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, ques- the United States between 1980-2013. Pew Research Center. tioning, queer (LGBTQ) students, and leadership for social justice. Retrieved from http://www.pewhispanic.org/2015/05/12/statisti He has published extensively on Latino leadership, including two cal-portrait-of-hispanics-in-the-united-states-1980-2013-trends/ books: Abriendo Puertas, Cerrando Heridas (Opening Doors, 16 SAGE Open Closing Wounds): Latinas/os Finding Work–Life Balance in American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE), Academia (with Elizabeth Murakami and Gloria Rodriguez) and International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), American Brown-Eyed Leaders of the Sun: A Portrait of Latina/o Educational Educational Research Association (AERA), and other national con- Leaders (with Elizabeth Murakami). He has published in top-tier ferences advancing research on distributive and transformative leader- journals such as Education Administration Quarterly, Journal of ship practices in schools that improve instruction. He collaborates School Leadership, Education and the Urban Society, Teacher with scholars nationally to mentor and develop Latina/o leaders and College Record, Journal of Latinos and Education. research Latina/os across the educational leadership pipeline. Fernando Valle is an associate professor of educational leadership at Irma Almager is an assistant professor of educational leadership at Texas Tech University. He received a doctorate in educational leader- Texas Tech University (TTU). She coordinates a DOE i3 Grant in ship from The University of Texas at Pan American and after serving conjunction with a local district with their middle school math teach- as a teacher, school counselor, and principal, he moved into university ers (sixth to ninth grades) using TAP, IT Forward Math, and work and the professoriate. He leads US$12 million in U.S. TeachScape programs. She directs the SEED grant educational lead- Department of Education federal grants including the i3 Innovation ership TAP Connect courses and curriculum for certificate partici- and Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) TAP pants in five districts and 18 schools across the state of Texas. She is Connect National Pilot and the LIFT Program which seek to improve also the director for the TTU Principal Fellows Program by facilitat- classroom practice, instructional coaching, and instructional leader- ing flipped course work for educational leadership faculty and assist- ship. The grant partnerships across the state inform his teaching, prac- ing work with principal fellow interns out in the field. She develops tice, and research in the field. He continues to present research at the research related to gender, teacher improvement, and Latina/o school University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA), leaders.

Journal

SAGE OpenSAGE

Published: May 18, 2018

Keywords: educational administration; leadership and policy; education; social sciences; race/gender; education theory and practice; educational research; Latino/a sociology; sociology of race and ethnicity; sociology

References