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XChange: Publications and Resources for Public School Professionals


Teacher Leadership Tree Landing PageIntent & Purpose - "Why"

Center X represents where theory and practice intersect and the XPress represents that intersection. The XPress contains articles and artifacts from both research and practice around teacher leadership and different roles of teacher leadership.

Ways to Use - "How"

The contents in XPress might be used in the following ways:

  • As professional reading for professional learning communities
  • As a resource for research around teacher leadership and teacher leader roles
  • As a models for writing professional articles or creating a professional learning program


XPress Articles & Artifacts


The Careers of Urban Teachers: A Synthesis of Findings from UCLA's Longitudinal Study of Urban Educators

Author: Karen Hunter Quartz

This paper synthesizes the findings of a six-year longitudinal retention study of more than one thousand urban educators in their first through tenth year of the profession. The educators studied were graduates of UCLA's Center X Teacher Education Program and the results of the study may be generalized to the population of well-prepared urban teachers nationwide, with one exception. Although most Center X graduates are female (79%), which is similar to national trends, the group's ethnic and racial diversity contrasts sharply with national norms (though it reflects California's increasing diversity). The longitudinal study consisted of a range of quantitative and qualitative studies to answer the following questions:

  1. What is the effect of specialized teacher preparation on retention?
  2. What is the effect of career advancement on attrition among highly-qualified urban educators?
  3. What individual and school characteristics are associated with retention in high-poverty schools?

This paper reports that Center X's specialized approach to teacher education had a positive impact on workplace retention, but not role retention. If they decided to stay in teaching, Center X graduates were much more likely than similar teachers nationwide to stay put in the same school over time. This finding has important implications for the organizational stability and potential reform of urban schools.

Focusing in on the issue of role retention, the paper reports that the proportion of attrition among Center X graduates due to changing roles within the field of education was 70% after eight years in the profession. Although largely hidden from policy view, the paper discusses how role changing is a form of sanctioned attrition that should be added to the landscape of teacher retention research.

Finally, the paper reports findings that stand in stark contrast to a number of studies that have found teachers systematically move away from schools with low levels of achievement and high concentrations of poor children of color. The paper reports how student disadvantage along with the quality of a school's professional learning community contributes to workplace retention in high poverty urban schools. The concluding section outlines promising policy responses for creating and sustaining urban schools where teachers are professionally respected, challenged, and supported; where they have autonomy and voice; and where they feel they can make a difference in the lives of their student.

This item is accessed for free with permission from the CDL eScholarship repository.

Article Link:


Developing Teacher Leaders: Exploring the Multiple Roles of Beginning Urban Educators

Authors: Joanna Goode and Karen Hunter Quartz, Kimberly Barraza-Lyons, Andrew Thomas

Understanding how to prepare and support teachers as social justice educators committed to working in high-poverty, urban schools is a growing area of inquiry—one that is crucial if we are to stem the tide of high attrition from these hard-to-staff schools.  Teacher educators struggle to create conditions within formal pre-service programs that will prepare educators for the many challenges unique to urban schools.  This paper informs this struggle by looking at the early career trajectories of educators prepared specifically as social justice educators.  Specifically, we are interested in capturing the multiple professional roles that urban educators assume in their quest to change the world and further social justice.  Do these roles help keep educators engaged in their challenging work?  We explore this question based on survey data from 417 urban educators in their second through sixth year of their careers and conclude by suggesting a new policy framework for thinking about urban teacher retention—a frame that extends beyond the classroom and into a variety of multiple professional roles.

This item is accessed for free with permission from the authors.

Download Article: Developing Teacher Leaders: Exploring the Multiple Roles of Beginning Urban Educators (pdf)


National Board Certification: Supporting African American Teachers

Authors: Tyrone Howard, Rae Jeane Williams, and Ann Ifekwunigwe

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) has sought to advance the overall quality of teaching and learning in U.S. schools through a rigorous certification process. Research has shown that the teachers who achieve certification acquire knowledge and skills that are consistent with exemplary teaching practices. Over the past decade, growing concerns about the disproportionate rates of certification among certain groups of teachers have raised equity concerns about the certification process. African American teachers in particular certify at a significantly lower rate than their peers from different racial and ethnic backgrounds.

This study sought to identify support structures that could increase the success rates of African American teacher candidates. Using a writing support structure, technological assistance, and intense mentoring with two different cohorts over a two-year period, this study found that the success rate of African American teachers earning certification was close to 50%, approximately four times higher than the national certification rate for African American teachers.

Main Research Questions:

  1. What optimal structures of support can be provided to meet the needs of African American candidates pursuing National Board Certification?
  2. How can these structures of support be replicated to increase the number of African American teachers achieving National Board Certification nationwide?
This item is accessed for free with permission from the NBPTS repository.

Article Link:


“What is the Work of a Literacy Coach?”

Author: Carrie Usui


What is the work of a literacy coach? During a weekend retreat funded by an Urban Sites Network mini-grant, 12 Writing Project teacher consultants and literacy coaches from Los Angeles grappled with this question through reflection and writing resulting in publishable pieces that made the work of literacy coaches visible.

This item is accessed for free with permission from the author. 

Download Article:  What is the Work of a Literacy Coach? (pdf)


“The Projects: Education Under Construction with UCLA’s Literacy and Leadership Partners”

Author: Erin Powers

As a group, teachers and administrators are given a great deal of responsibility, and are expected to construct a system of instruction that fits their particular schools and classrooms. This is undoubtedly a demanding task, and often times educators are not given the appropriate amount of time and resources to accomplish all their scholastic goals. Erin Power’s paper lays out how a Literacy and Leader Partner (LLP) can assist educators via various types of consultation. LLP’s show teachers and administrators how to develop and refine their skills in areas such as efficiency, collaboration, and curriculum building, while also urging educators to trust one another’s ideas. Power’s uses the extended metaphor of architecture to highlight how a LLP is the frame of a school, aiding its development, but at the same time being an invisible component of the “school house” (aka education system), which allows the "builders" (teachers) to take the majority of control when it come to building "The Projects."

This item is accessed for free with permission from the author.

Download Article: The Projects: Education Under Construction with UCLA's Literacy and Leadership Partners (pdf)


“Write Like Crazy and Personal Growth: What’s the Difference?”

Author: Susan Strauss

UCLA Literacy Coach and Writing Project Fellow, Susan Strauss, considers what it means to “write like crazy” to improve writing while supporting teachers overwhelmed by grading papers and the pressures of standardized testing. Based on her experience teaching students using Writer’s Notebooks, student portfolios, making writing public, and providing personal letters as feedback to student writers, Strauss provides examples of a student-centered writing culture and bringing these examples to other teachers. 

This item is accessed for free with permission from the author.

Download Article: Write Like Crazy and Personal Growth: What's the Difference? (pdf)

“The Five W’s of Literacy Coaching: Who? What? When? Where? Why?”

Authors: Jane Koehler


As the demands in our world economy grow, our educational system must change to meet these challenges. Jane Weidlea Koelher's article suggests that a skilled literacy coach can help teachers navigate through the various challenges they face. Working one on one with teachers, she states, is the work of relationship building,  partnering and advocating for students. 

This item is accessed for free with permission from the author.

Download Article: The Five W’s of Literacy Coaching: Who? What? When? Where? Why? (pdf)


“The Classroom Coach”

Authors: Rebecca Alber

Rebecca Alber, a UCLA Center X Literacy Coach, reflects on her experience in learning how to define her new role as a coach in a South Los Angeles high school, in the article “The Classroom Coach.” Using her own experiences as a high school English teacher as a guide, she is able to connect and build relationships with teachers, while continuing to refine her coaching skills and be the listener her teachers need.

This item is accessed for free with permission from the author.

Download Article:
The Classroom Coach (pdf)


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