The Elam Leadership Institute (ELI) is a network of leading national and international research and development professionals and organizations working on the premise to seek excellence and equity in educational leadership through research, policy and practice. ELI is based on the theoretical framework espoused by Elam et al (2007) which is the alignment of culturally competent leadership that impacts academic achievement and supports an interdisciplinary approach for all levels of education.
Cultural leadership is perhaps the most vital of all forms of leadership because it serves as the foundation for all others (Glanz, 2006). Yet even "when the term ‘cultural leadership’ is used (e.g. Glanz, 2006) it often refers to a set of practice that attend only to the organizational culture of the school” (Howley, Woodrum, Burgess, & Rhodes, 2009 p. 13). For instance, Murphy, Moorman and McCarthy (2008) recommended that reform of preparation programs for focus on community-anchored culture; a term reflecting organizational culture characterized by learning communities. Giving explicit attention to culturally competent leadership Elam, Robinson and McCloud (2007) bridged cultural competent leadership to effective leadership (related to student achievement) and social justice leadership (related to equity) to reflect Glanz’s (2006) assertion that cultural competence leadership serves as the foundation for all other forms of leadership. They argued that cultural competence is necessary but not sufficient in raising achievement and suggested that school leaders use their attendant skills to ensure increased equity and high levels of academic outcomes for all students.
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