Diversity, Social Justice, and the Educational Leader


This study explores the relationship of a new Parent Teacher Association (PTA) to a historically low-income public school in a gentrifying neighborhood. The PTA was formed by a group of white middle class parents who did not reflect the broader school population. To serve diverse communities, school leaders need to organize families to participate in the school democratically. Utilizing Participatory Action Research (PAR), this study demonstrates that there are no shortcuts to building more democratic parental participation in diverse urban schools: communities need to engage in collaborative inquiry to dismantle barriers to involvement, strengthen the connection between home and school, and recruit and develop more representative leadership.