Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Department of Educational Administration and Foundations: Educational Administration

First Advisor

Gavin Weiser


Racial discrimination in schools in the U.S. has resulted in a disproportionate number of Black students receiving exclusionary and punitive consequences, in which they are more likely to end up part of the School to Prison Pipeline and less likely to graduate. The researcher completed interviews with eight elementary school principals in Chicago Public Schools whom were identified using publicly available data. All participants were selected for their prior success in reducing the number of Black student suspensions by at least 20% during the years of 2016-2019. The focus of this study was to determine (1) What school leadership practices enacted by Chicago Public Schools elementary school principals resulted in the reduction of Black student suspensions? (2) In what ways were the teachers engaged to show evidence of the reduction of Black student suspensions? The qualitative nature of the study allowed for an interpretivist approach to data analysis, utilizing a thematic coding process based in the theoretical framework Culturally Responsive School Leadership (Khalifa, 2016). Five central elements of the theoretical framework were utilized: (1) critical self-awareness, (2) critiquing inequitable practices, (3) culturally responsive teacher development, (4), promoting equitable practices, and (5) trusting adult-to-adult relationships. By following a process of analysis, coding, and synthesis (Saldaña, 2021), four themes were selected: (1) Ethic of Workplace Trust; (2) Shifting Mindsets: Out with Old Exclusionary and Punitive Habits, In with New Inclusive and Restorative Adult Habits; (3) Misconceptions and Re-Education Towards Restorative Practices; and (4) Shifting Momentum to a Sense of Belonging, Across School.


Imported from Graves_ilstu_0092E_12321.pdf


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