NYU Steinhardt News

NYU Metro's TAC-D Hosted 15th Summer Institute


On May 24, 2019, NYU Metro's Technical Assistance Center on Disproportionality (TAC-D), in partnership with New York State Education Department, hosted TAC-D’s 15th and final Summer Institute -- Unleashing Leadership to Dismantle Disproportionately: Schools, Families, Communities, and Youth.




The highlight of this year’s conference was the amplification of student voice through a number of sessions that spotlighted youth engagement in addressing disproportionate disciplinary outcomes. Students from New York City, Schenectady, and Greece led conversations about their work, which includes participatory action research on disproportionality, developing culturally responsive communal learning opportunities, and facilitating student-led restorative practices in schools. Representatives from the Youth Technical Assistance Center on Disproportionality (YTAC-D; New York City) and the Teen Technical Assistance Center on Disproportionality (Teen TAC-D; Schenectady) also participated in a panel to discuss the successes and challenges of elevating student voice in their respective cities.


The day ended with YTAC-D’s keynote address, entitled Something’s in the Water, which explored the results of their research and looked at the disparate school experiences of students by race/ethnicity as explained through written and illustrated school survey responses. From their action research findings YTAC-D left the audience with the following recommendations.




While the youth captured much of the attention during their sessions, the Summer Institute also featured three fantastic keynote presentations from adults who grounded the day’s discussions in scholarship. Dr. Edward Fergus, from Temple University, kicked off the day by exploring cross-cultural experiences that are essential to disrupting disproportionate responses to student behavior. Dr. Beth Harry, of the University of Miami, flipped the idea of “at-risk students” on its head, instead unpacking the various risks that students with disabilities face within the educational process itself. Finally, Dr. Mica Pollock, from the University of California - San Diego, guided attendees through the eight types of Schooltalk (modeled after her book of the same name) that can actively contribute to or disrupt disproportionality.

 (Pictured Below: Dr. Beth Harry)


In addition to these keynotes, the TAC-D Summer Institute offered 25 breakout sessions throughout the day, designed to challenge attendees’ thinking and encourage innovative responses to disciplinary disproportionality. Some sessions featured conversations on family engagement, data-driven counter-narratives, and collaborative leadership to promote equity. Others walked participants through processes that can capture longitudinal school/district progress in achieving equitable outcomes, such as equity audits and improvement science cycles. The majority of these workshop sessions were designed and facilitated by TAC-D partner districts, speaking to the power of TAC-D’s work to support school districts across New York State over the past 15 years.

 (Pictured Below: Buffalo Public Schools) 


Several researchers and non-district practitioners also joined in the workshop fun. In one special breakout session, Dr. Muhammad Khalifa of the University of Minnesota discussed his Culturally Responsive School Leadership framework. In another special session, colleagues from the NYC Coalition for Educational Justice and Metro Center’s Center for Policy, Research and Evaluation (PRE) introduced the Culturally Responsive Curriculum Scorecard, recently launched by the Education Justice Research and Organizing Collaborative (EJ-ROC). In yet another, TAC-D Advisory Board Member Dr. Ian Roberts highlighted the role that an empathetic, culturally responsive school leadership approach can play in disrupting disproportionality.

With approximately 300 people in attendance, TAC-D hosted a quality and engaging day of learning, leaving participants with a final emphasis on the importance of engaging various leaders to disrupt and dismantle disproportionality, and ready for action.

(Pictured: Dr. David E. Kirkland) Man


Visit TAC-D's Website

Read the Summer Institute Agenda, Sessions Schedule and Sessions Description

Read Presenter Bios for TAC-D's Summer Institute