Living up to the dream? African American school administrator counternarratives about race, leadership and retention

Placeholder Show Content


A growing body of research shows that principal turnover is higher among people of racialized backgrounds (Meyer et al, 2020), associated with lower rates of student proficiency (Grissom & Bartanen, 2021) and most often is due to environmental conditions (Levin, Bradley & Scott, 2019). In partnership with the San Francisco Unified School District, I sought to explore the tenure experiences of their Black school leaders. I conducted 20 semi-structured interviews with African American principals and assistant principals. I combine social cognitive framework about administrator career decisions (Fairley-Ripple et al, 2012) with critical organizational theory (Ray, 2019) to demonstrate how SFUSD operates as a racialized organization despite espoused district commitments to African American students, Black educators and antiracist pedagogy. By looking at the district's new leader induction program, I show that there are unintended consequences to their efforts. For example, through helping new principals and assistant principals to name, interrogate and challenge unjust systems, Black leaders are more aware of the ways in which white supremacy culture is negatively impacting their work.


Type of resource text
Form electronic resource; remote; computer; online resource
Extent 1 online resource.
Place California
Place [Stanford, California]
Publisher [Stanford University]
Copyright date 2023; ©2023
Publication date 2023; 2023
Issuance monographic
Language English


Author Moore, Crystal Almeta
Degree supervisor Brown, Bryan
Thesis advisor Brown, Bryan
Thesis advisor Kozleski, Elizabeth
Thesis advisor Labaree, David
Degree committee member Kozleski, Elizabeth
Degree committee member Labaree, David
Associated with Stanford University, Graduate School of Education


Genre Theses
Genre Text

Bibliographic information

Statement of responsibility Crystal A. Moore.
Note Submitted to the Graduate School of Education.
Thesis Thesis Ph.D. Stanford University 2023.

Access conditions

© 2023 by Crystal Almeta Moore
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).

Also listed in

Loading usage metrics...