Voces de Los Perdidos: A Latina School Leader Empowers English Language Learners Through Ypar

Amy Andino, Fordham University


This study uses a multi-faceted Improvement Science approach to conduct a case study of the leadership actions and organizational changes required while enacting two novel change ideas. The problem of practice addressed the lack of progress of English Language Learners (ELLs) and the persistent achievement gap between ELLs to their mainstream peers. Despite school-wide efforts and state-mandated legislation aimed at closing the achievement gap between ELLs and their peers, a large proportion of ELLs at Promesa Academy stagnated as developing or long-term ELLs, receiving years of service and showing little to no growth in English language proficiency. This study sought to empower students to participate and use their voices to improve the ELL learning experience, enhancing teacher pedagogy and mindset and thereby improving student performance and learning conditions. Iterative cycles were conducted using Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR), students groups, and teacher Professional Learning Communities to identify change ideas targeting instructional priority areas. Findings revealed 10 themes related to leadership actions and organizational changes: 1) critical self-reflection, 2) culturally responsive teachers, 3) culturally responsive and inclusive school environment, 4) providing quality teacher feedback for individualized student needs, 5) confronting inequities stemming from power and privilege, 6) creating organizational structures for distributive leadership, 7) creating a foundation for critique and promise, 8) implementing processes that allow for the deconstruction and reconstruction of the social and cultural knowledge frameworks that generate inequities, 9) YPAR as work that fosters empowerment and knowledge of teaching and learning, and 10) YPAR as work that leads to improved learning conditions.

Subject Area

Bilingual education|Educational administration|Multicultural Education

Recommended Citation

Andino, Amy, "Voces de Los Perdidos: A Latina School Leader Empowers English Language Learners Through Ypar" (2023). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI30632551.