Chinese School Principals Create an Equity-Based Learning Community in Leading School Improvement for Secondary High School Student Achievement

School principals play a significant role in any equity and justice initiatives to assist teachers in establishing positive expectations for students. This study explores Chinese secondary school principals’ experiences in building an equitable educational environment for student academic achievement. The descriptive qualitative inquiry was employed to navigate principals’ views for building equity in school through semi-structural protocol interviews with a total of twelve principals (N=12). Findings show that Chinese school principals face three challenges: passing testing scores first, but equity second; disengagement between school principals and students, parents, and teachers; insufficient resources. This study found that principals responded to the challenges by promoting education core values, such as equity; engaging with students, parents, and teachers; and seeking support from superintendents, partners, and school founders. Findings also show that principals use three strategies: a dialogue between school stakeholders; building a school fair evaluation system; having cooperative projects for school improvement. Future studies of fostering anti-racial leaders were recommended.

Keywords: principals, equal education, academic achievement, high schools, qualitative research