The Journal of Transformative Leadership and Policy Studies

Volume 5, Number 1 - September 2015

Letter from the Editors

The Journal of Transformative Leadership and Policy Studies (JTLPS), Volume 5.1, proffers a major thematic link focusing on the intersectionality of leadership across both content areas and across educational systems. The thematic link across several manuscripts captures how creative leadership facilitates change that is creative and synergistic. A second theme in this volume dwells on policy implications that lead to curricular practices that promote inclusion and promote the missions that various educational systems have for their institutions.

Volume 5.1 of JTLPS begins by featuring two reflective essays. In the first essay, California’s State University: A Leadership Perspective, Dr. Timothy White, as Chancellor of the California State University system, engages us on issues surrounding leadership, vision and institutional change across the largest four-year system of higher education in the United States. His reflective essay was culled from a transcribed interview and themed around six major areas: institutional vision, leadership, system level change, regional service areas and leadership legacy. A second reflective essay is also included in this volume by CAPSES - the California Association of Private Special Education Schools. CAPSES is a leading association that has supported transformational change in California for over 40 years. There are six major themes in his essay, including issues of access in special education and policy implications, services supported by CAPSES, social justice, teacher preparation, and creating an inclusive school culture for children with special needs.

The articles in this volume collectively reflect the need to promote curricular changes that foster educational equity and provide an educated citizenry for the twenty-first century that is college and career ready. Systemically, these articles coalesce around the notion of “readiness” in relationship to higher education. In Transforming the Institution from the Inside: Creating the Brave New Community College of the Future, four key areas at the institutional level are discussed that must be intentionally and aggressively addressed in order for community colleges to make substantial and necessary improvements in student learning and development. These include developing a much tighter link between educational programs and student services, implementing strategic and systemic changes in the organizational structure and operations, and building a much stronger and cohesive relationship between college leaders, the faculty, and student services professionals.

A second featured article comes from a cadre of scholars that posit that teachers with knowledge of science and science teaching pedagogy are essential to teaching science in K-12 schools. Their article, Policy in Support of Pedagogy: Collaboration Among Scientists, Science Educators, and Engineers in Preparing Qualified K-8 STEM Teachers, discusses the use of a Foundational Level General Science Program to go beyond increasing science content knowledge and illustrate how they promoted a sustained collaboration between faculty in science and education to integrate inquiry-based pedagogy into curricula with the goal of recruiting and retaining STEM teachers.

A third featured article, entitled Putting the Community Back in Community College: Critical Social Justice Leadership and the Systems of Student Success, explores the rhetoric of achievement in relation to social justice realities and community college leadership. It then shifts to exploring the Critical Social Justice Leadership (CSJL) model to juxtapose the connection between the systemic social justice realities impacting the communities served by community colleges while shedding light on the kinds of leadership strategies that might more thoroughly and effectively address issues relating to student success.

This volume includes an engaging policy brief on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and ends with a book review and two new books that are being featured. In All Standards, All Students? The Misalignment of NGSS with Science Course Graduation Policy, the vision and organization of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) is critically discussed while reviewing three high school curriculum implementation models based on the California Science Framework. The brief aims to promote social justice in science education, and addresses the need for reforming curriculum, policy, and practices to improve the equitable preparedness of students for college and career.

The book review John Dewey and the Future of Community College Education proposes that leaders across the institution must come together and adopt a new democracy-based normative vision grounded in the writings of John Dewey, which would call upon colleges to do much more than improve completion rates and expand educational opportunity. This volume ends by featuring two new book releases: Mentoring as Transformative Practice: Supporting Student and Faculty Diversity and Intentional Excellence: The Pedagogy, Power, and Politics of Excellence in Latina/o Schools and Communities.

JTLPS and its editorial board wishes to thank the Chancellor’s Office of the California State University and the College of Education at California State University, Sacramento for its continued support. We also invite future authors to submit their manuscripts with the understanding that that they are accepted for review year-round on a rolling basis.

Carlos Nevarez, PhD
Executive Editor

Porfirio Loeza, PhD