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Dr. Ishimaru’s scholarship focuses on the intersection of leadership, school-community relationships, and equity-based reform in urban and “new immigrant destination” school systems. Her work fcouses on improving educational leadership, both in and out of formal systems, to create equitable educational environments, with a particular focus on students, families, and communities who have been historically marginalized in education. Formal K-12 educational leadership plays a vital role in addressing persistent disparities in student learning, outcomes, and success, but the field continues to struggle with how to understand and engage in practices that will provide meaningful educational opportunities for non-dominant students. Moreover, parent and community leadership holds promise for improving educational systems, but equitable collaboration across educational and parent leadership is rare. Dr. Ishimaru engages in community-based research to build collaborative leadership capacity for improving educational systems and leveraging the expertise and priorities of the students, families, and communities who have been least well served in these systems.
Ishimaru is Co-PI of the UW Equitable Parent-School Collaboration Research Project, a multi-year research effort to understand, measure, and support district and community-based efforts to authentically engage families and communities in improving student learning and success within a collective impact initiative in South Seattle/South King County. She is also Co-PI of the Organizational Leadership for Equity Project, a multiple case study to examine how school leadership teams, nested within district equity initiatives, engage with data and tools to catalyze organizational learning and equitable leadership practice.
EdD, Harvard Graduate School of Education
EdM, Education Policy Management, Harvard Graduate School of Education
MA, Curriculum and Teacher Education, Stanford University School of Education
Honors & Awards
Social Justice Dissertation Award, American Educational Research Association (2013)
Special Interest Group: Leadership for Social Justice
Outstanding Dissertation Award, American Educational Research Association (2013)
Special Interest Group: Family-School-Community Partnerships
Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Award, American Educational Research (2011)
Association Grassroots Community & Youth Organizing SIG
Spencer Dissertation Fellowship for Research Related to Education (2010)
Ruth Landes Memorial Research Fellowship (2010)
Ronald R. Edmonds-Charles M. Cheng Memorial Fund Fellowship (2009)
State Farm Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Award (2009)
Ishimaru, A.M. (2014). Rewriting the rules of engagement: Elaborating a model of district-community collaboration. Harvard Educational Review, 84(2), p. 188-216.
Ishimaru, A.M., Lott, J. & the Equitable Parent-School Collaboration Research Project (2014). Charting a course to equitable collaboration: Learning from parent engagement initiatives in the Road Map Project. College of Education, University of Washington: Seattle, WA.
Ishimaru, A.M. & Galloway, M.K. (2014). Beyond individual effectiveness: Conceptualizing equitable leadership practice. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 13(1): 93-146.
Ishimaru, A. M. (2014). When new relationships meet old narratives: The journey towards improving parent-school relations in a district-community organizing collaboration. Teachers College Record, 116(2).
Galloway, M., Ishimaru, A. & Larson, R. (in press). When aspirations exceed actions: Leaders’ descriptions of educational equity. Journal of School Leadership.
Ishimaru, A. (2013). From heroes to organizers: Principals and education organizing in urban school reform. Educational Administration Quarterly. 49(1): 3-51.
Ishimaru, A., Gordon, C., & Cervantes, R. (2011). A match on dry grass: Education organizing in Alum Rock," In M. Warren, K. Mapp and The Community Organizing and School Reform Project. Match on dry grass: Community organizing for school reform. New York: Oxford University Press.
Higgins, M., Ishimaru, A., Holcombe, R., Fowler, A. (2011). Examining the building blocks of learning in schools. Journal of Educational Change.
Childress, S., Higgins, M., Ishimaru, A. & Takahashi, S. (2011). Accountability and organizational learning in New York City reforms. In J. O’Day, C. Bitter & L. Gomez (Eds.) Education Reform in New York City: Ambitious Change in the Nation's Most Complex School System. Cambridge: Harvard Education Press.
EDLPS 511 School-Community Relations
EDLPS 565 Introduction to Leadership
EDLPS 570 Leadership for Equity
EDLPS 547 & 548 (L4L only) Inquiry-based Leadership