Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education


In the spring of 2020, school leaders, school boards, and teachers faced challenges beyond the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, finding themselves under attack for the perceived applications of critical race theory in school curriculum. These conditions made active engagement in equity-focused school improvement planning more challenging. School leaders and leadership teams may benefit from using an established framework to identify strengths and areas for growth around culturally responsive pedagogy for effective school improvement planning. This article explores the use of Hammond’s (2015) Ready for Rigor Framework as a tool for identifying prioritizing which conditions for culturally responsive pedagogy are most urgently needed, especially for student populations that have been traditionally marginalized. This case study highlights the importance of developing common language around important philosophical frameworks and concepts to better develop culturally sustaining and engaging practices, which will aid the development of clear communication to community stakeholders. Understanding the importance of internal coherence in action-based culturally sustaining school leadership is a critical foundational tool in anti-racist work. These findings will also inform school improvement planning, from applying identification protocols to designing actions to be implemented.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.