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Opening Doors

Opening Doors
An Implementation Template for Cultural Proficiency

January 2016 | 152 pages | Corwin

See how one school district made Cultural Proficiency real—and how you can too!

In spite of Brown vs. Board of Education, true integration and corresponding equality of educational opportunity is still far from reality in American schools.  

Opening Doors tells the story of Ventura Unified School District's successful implementation of cultural proficiency, which opened long-closed doors for marginalized students and returned gains on every key success metric. Most importantly, it will empower you to do the same for your school or district. Resources include:

  • A method for evaluating the impact of educational decisions on students' access to learning
  • A clear three-year implementation plan for making your school culturally proficient
  • A content-rich companion website that includes templates and forms for implementing the book’s suggestions

It is long past time to make cultural proficiency real by ensuring universally equal access to educational resources for all students. This book removes the remaining barriers to the achievement of this ideal. 

“This powerfully insightful and thought provoking book, takes us on a journey to culturally proficient actions.”
Rosemary Papa, Professor
Northern Arizona University

“The book is full of compassion, conviction and hope—pure heart, pure corazón—in the quest to tackle inequality and the opportunity gap head on.”
Gilberto Q. Conchas, Professor of Educational Policy and Social Context
University of California, Irvine

Publisher's Acknowledgments
About the Authors
Chapter 1 – What Frames Us, Defines Us
Getting Centered

Going Deeper

Chapter 2 - Culturally Proficient Leadership Fosters Transformative Change
Getting Centered

Going Deeper

Chapter 3 – Change Begins with Core Value and Belief Statements
Getting Centered

Going Deeper

Activity 3.1 – Can You Believe?

Activity 3.2 – Walking Forward Part I

Chapter 4 – Yes, We Actually Live Our Values
Getting Centered

Going Deeper

Activity 4.1 – Walking Forward Part II

Activity 4.2 – I Am Activity

Chapter 5 – Continuous Learning Involves Deconstructing our Learning
Getting Centered

Going Deeper

Activity 5.1 - The Power of Us

Activity 5.2 – Opening Doors for Students – Do Our Actions Reflect Our Values? Part 1

Activity 5.3 – Opening Doors for Students – To What Extent are We Escorting Students Through the Doors? Part 2

Activity 5.4 – Data that Demonstrates Areas of Need

Activity 5.5 – Book Club

Resource A – Book Study Guide

Resource B - Cultural Proficiency Books’ Essential Questions

Resource C – 3-Year Implementation Journey

Resource D – A Cultural Proficiency Implementation Model


Every level of the organization, led by the superintendent and the school board, engage in courageous examination of data and reflection to create continuous improvement, close opportunity gaps, and lead the district to improved outcomes for students. 

Maria Ott, Professor of Clinical Education
USC Rossier School of Education
Key features
(1) Provides education leaders with a template for implementing Cultural Proficiency across an entire district or school.

(2) Provides a method for evaluating the impact of educational decisions on students' access to learning.

(3) Offers an explicit case study of a large, diverse school district that has successfully implemented Cultural Profiency to benefit all students including those who have been marginalized.

(4) Includes a range of activities and processes to inform professional development for personal growth as well as activities and processes to inform policy analysis and development that supports districts and schools that commit to doing what is necessary to educate all children in safe and healthy schools.

(5) Companion web site includes templates and reproducibles for use in PD. 




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ISBN: 9781483388793

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