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Lee Teitel was a lecturer on education for 20 years who taught courses on leadership, partnership, and organizational improvement and, more recently, on integrated schools and leading for equity and diversity. He was the founding director in 2006 of the Executive Leadership Program for Educators, a five-year collaboration of Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, Business School, and Kennedy School of Government that focused on bringing high quality teaching and learning to scale in urban and high need districts. He then directed the master’s level School Leadership Program for eight years, where a clear and consistent focus on race and equity helped triple the percentages of students of color and quadruple the percentage of African Americans who graduated HGSE to become principals and other school leaders.
Teitel helped develop the Instructional Rounds practice, writing books on School-Based Instructional Rounds (HEPG 2013) and (with Liz City, Richard Elmore and Sarah Fiarman) Instructional Rounds in Education (HEPG 2009). For over a decade, he co-chaired Harvard’s Instructional Rounds Institute and facilitated or helped launch instructional rounds networks in ten states in the United States and in Australia, Canada, and Sweden.
In 2015, Teitel founded the Reimagining Integration: Diverse and Equitable Schools (RIDES) Project at HGSE, which has supported schools, districts, and charter organizations in moving beyond desegregation (getting diverse students in their buildings) to become places where all children learn at high levels, feel included, appreciate their own and other cultures, understand racism, and work to dismantle it. Through RIDES and as an independent consultant, Teitel has helped — and continues to help — hundreds of teachers, administrators, and students in over 50 schools and districts around the country use equity improvement tools he and his RIDES colleagues developed to name, own, and address inequities in their schools.
His recent equity-focused publications include “Confronting Racism Together: A professional network of white superintendents leading largely white schools challenge themselves and their colleagues on racial equity” from the The School Administrator, February 2021 and “Practical Tools for Improving Equity and Dismantling Racism in Schools” with Mary Antón, Samuel Etienne, Eliza Loyola and Andrea Steele from Learning Forward, June 2021.
The RIDES initiative is building upon prior work in ways that can increase the impact we have on the sector by focusing on practices: How people learn, customize, use, and assess the impacts of systemic approaches to integration in their settings.
We think of this work in four interwoven work areas: WHO can lead the work; WHAT promising practices they can use, HOW they can use them to make deep and sustainable change, and how they can MEASURE and track progress toward their goals.
Goal 1: Preparing individual cohorts of fellows WHO are ready and able to take on leadership roles in starting and/or sustaining integration work in schools, systems and partnering organizations, and to document the fellowship development process to build the knowledge base for how to best prepare such leaders
Goal 2: Providing broad access to a high quality set of vetted promising practices: WHAT a variety of stakeholders can use to help their schools and systems move from desegregation to true integration
Goal 3: Providing guidance and support to enable a range of stakeholders to learn HOW to customize and apply the RIDES tools, diagnostics, practices, and resources in their context
Goal 4 Providing a clear set of metrics to diagnose initial conditions and MEASURE the progress schools and districts are making as they work toward the desired outcomes of integration.