The Journal of Transformative Leadership and Policy Studies

Volume 4, Number 1 - June 2014

Letter from the Editors

The Journal of Transformative Leadership and Policy Studies (JTLPS) is a system-wide, open access, and online journal with a print edition representing the California State University System. The journal’s focus on supporting and disseminating applied research pre-kindergarten through higher education uniquely positions the journal among the varied body of educational journals. Realizing the complexities that underscore educational organizations, the journal aims to inform practice via the development of wide-ranging types of academic genres, including, but not limited to, exploring issues of equity and achievement, STEM in education, and exemplifying how leadership and policy influence educational change.

This volume includes two reflective essays that speak to transformative leadership and the policies needed for transformative change to occur in both public schools and community colleges. Francisco Rodriguez, the newly appointed Chancellor of the Los Angeles Community College District, met with members of the editorial team for an intimate and transparent question and answer session on transformational leadership. He provides a critical perspective on the leadership policies he will consider to mediate change for the nine-campus district. According to Rodriguez, to promote institutional change you need the “Three C’s”– Courage, Conviction and Coraje (valor and boldness). This refers to having the courage to facilitate conversations about social justice aimed at redressing educational disparities. Ramona Bishop, Superintendent of the Vallejo City Unified School District, provides a leadership perspective on the need for transformational leaders in inner-city schools. Her testimonies allude to her own leadership skills and approach to transformational leadership. She speaks to her role as being a fastidious facilitator, unselfish community-builder, an approachable intellect, and most importantly, a compassionate listener. Bishop’s use of quotes, particularly from Horace Mann, the first Secretary of Education, vividly brings alive practices that underscore school transformation.

The Viki Montera article provide insights to issues of assessment, curriculum and pedagogy reform for a more equitable and accountable educational system. The author illustrates one school’s effort to expand assessment and accountability activities through the use of assessment research literature and dialogue throughout the school community. In turn, Rose Borunda and Crystal Martinez-Alire point to pedagogical practices that embrace Native American cultural values. Five developmental theorists cited in this concept paper speak to pedagogical practices shown to be in alignment with American Indian cultural orientations and advance educational success.

Three book reviews are included in this issue. Bryan Rogers reviews Pathways to the Common Core: Accelerating Achievement. An overview of the possible arguments both for and against the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are discussed. The prose of the introduction and discussion is lighthearted and persuasive towards viewing the CCSS as a golden opportunity to rebuild and retool education modes and assessment means. Lisa Romero reviews Public Policy and Higher Education: Reframing Strategies for Preparation, Access, and Success (Core Concepts in Higher Education). Romero applauds the authors for their efforts to develop a resource for higher education aimed at explaining the relationship between political ideology, policy decisions, and outcomes affecting college opportunity, access and success. Sarah Graham and Brandon Jouganatos review Understanding Community Colleges. Their analysis provides a comprehensive analysis from a critical and theoretical perspective of scholarly research on how to improve access to students. The authors recognize that in order to influence the diverse populations they serve, instructors must be aware of how to teach the skills needed in a way that meet the needs of diverse learners.

This volume includes a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) report based on a California State University (CSU) doctoral fellowship. The authors, Randy Kilmartin and Katrina Pimentel, provide insight into practices that influence underrepresented minority high school students’ participation in STEM. The report is underscored by practical recommendations that may assist policymakers, industry leaders and educators in advocating for equity and inclusion in STEM education. The Editorial Board of JTLPS would like to thank the authors, the Chancellor’s Office of the California State University, and the College of Education at California State University, Sacramento for their support of this journal and the field of education. The editorial team especially would like to recognize the journal’s editor, Porfirio Loeza, for his own transformational leadership in guiding the production of this volume. JTLPS invites scholars and practitioners to submit papers on a range of topics pertinent to leadership and policy studies in education and STEM education.

Carlos Nevarez, PhD
Executive Editor

Porfirio Loeza, PhD