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Audience Inclusion, Voice, and Participation

Schools must contend with the cultural dynamics of its internal stakeholders (e.g., students, families, teachers, etc.) in addition to external stakeholders (e.g., policymakers, business and community leaders, etc.) that impact teaching and learning. Being inclusive of all constituents is not a simple task. To ensure that all audiences have a voice and are part of the decisionmaking process—and to be fully conscious of various cultural, racial, and socioeconomic differences—is vital to developing a strategic plan that is supported by all constituents and meets the needs of every student. Stakeholders are more likely to cooperate if they understand the rationale for decisions that impact their children. Leaders must ensure that all stakeholders are represented; they must develop a deep understanding of the needs of their students based on ethnicity, race, and class; and they must ensure that during the strategic planning process, there is alignment between the school vision, practices, and resource allocation.