Interview with Isaac Huang, Ed.D. - Director of Expanded Learning Opportunities for Fillmore Unified School District
About Isaac Huang, Ed.D.: Isaac Huang is the Director of Expanded Learning Opportunities for Fillmore Unified School District. As Director, Dr. Huang oversees the design and implementation of innovative programming that enhances educational outcomes and fosters diversity, equity, and inclusion within Fillmore USD. Prior to assuming the position of Director, Dr. Huang served as Principal for Madrona Elementary School within Conejo Valley Unified School District, where he improved student performance, teacher support and professional development, and community and parent engagement. As an inaugural member of Conejo Valley USD’s Equity Task Force, he facilitated conversations and collaborations to address learning inequities, and assembled a team of academic specialists to provide instructional support to both teachers and students.
In addition to his impactful leadership work in public education, Dr. Huang is also active in several professional associations that focus on educator mentorship and fostering diversity amongst educators. He is the President of the California Association of Asian and Pacific Leaders in Education (CAAPLE) and a Committee Member for the Mentoring Program of the California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators (CALSA).
Dr. Huang earned his Ed.D. from the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education, where he focused on K-12 Urban Educational Leadership. He holds his Master’s in Educational Leadership from California State University, Los Angeles, and his Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development with a minor in Psychology from California State University, Northridge.
Educational Leadership Interview Questions
[OnlineEdDPrograms.com] Prior to your current position as Director of Expanded Learning Opportunities for Fillmore Unified School District, you served as a Principal for Madrona Elementary School within Conejo Valley Unified School District. How did you achieve systemic and cultural change at your school by unifying stakeholders, enhancing professional development and support for teachers, and pioneering conversations and action around equity, diversity, and inclusion?
[Dr. Isaac Huang] My role as principal was, first and foremost, to make sure that all of our students had a safe and welcoming environment. What we’ve learned from the pandemic is that social, emotional, and mental aspects are key; and we should focus on the whole child. I think that, before the pandemic, schools were primarily focused on academics, particularly measurable outcomes. What are the metrics that we have in school districts? We always talk about language arts test scores, math test scores, and graduation rates. Those are all academic-based metrics.
I think it’s hard to quantify how individuals are being – how to measure their growth or their self-efficacy. But it’s just as if not more important than these more concrete and quantifiable metrics. So, what other data do we also need to be more cognizant of? For instance, what about mental health referrals? Are we looking at those metrics as well? Are we looking at those who are exiting out of counseling successfully, or those that need to have additional counseling? We don’t need to know the nitty gritty details about those things, but we do need to be mindful. Social-emotional lessons are key pieces. Having a well-balanced approach at my school site is really important.
I’m not dismissing the academic piece. We definitely need to be mindful of that too. We need to make sure that students have those fundamental skills academically. If you looked at Madrona’s academic data, it showed that things were progressing very well. However, one of my goals when I came into Madrona was to look into the sub-groups and apply the data analysis lens I had employed in my dissertation work. No one had truly addressed that our English language learners and our second language learners were students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds and that students with disabilities were underperforming.
So, I started by asking questions. What are we doing? Are we doing anything different? Are we differentiating our instruction? How are we supporting these sub-groups in terms of providing adequate supports for their needs?
I was humbled and honored to be one of the inaugural members of the Equity Task Force, where I served for two years. I just completed my term last school year, so that was my final year of the two-year term. Equity is really a big focus for me, and it’s something that I hold as one of the foundational tenets of effective and socially just education. We need to make sure that we are providing equitable opportunities for all of our children. Finding ways to do that goes back to what I said in terms of the data.
Are we providing equitable opportunities and access for all of our children, not just some of our children? This was a conversation that we definitely had to have as a staff and as a community to find out if there were areas of growth and how we were going to address them. One of the things that we did was to have a systematic approach with regards to the additional supports that we provide to our Title I students, our second language learners, our homeless and foster youths.
One of the things I always say and I’ve always heard in my master’s and doctoral studies, is, “Invest in People.” So for me, it was really important to invest in high-quality individuals and build a team. We built a team of six credentialed intervention specialists to provide both push-in and pull-out supports at our school site. Push-in supports take place in the classroom, with the teacher bringing the instructional content and materials to the student—an example of this might be a math or language specialist who comes into the classroom to work with students who need extra support. Pull-out educational supports are ones that take place outside of the classroom—individual and group tutoring sessions independent of class sessions, for example.
This was a very novel concept within our district in terms of moving away from some of those more systematic, programmatic, computer-based platforms. Not saying that we didn’t do that; we also did do some of that. But it was also important to have that face-to-face, interpersonal connection as well.
Due to the pandemic, we didn’t get the chance to gather all of the data metrics that I would have liked, but from the internal and also anecdotal metrics we gathered, we saw that our students who participated in our push-in and pull-out programs showed academic growth. Our intervention team was so appreciative and so positively enthused with the outcomes that we saw. Our teachers in the classroom were also very impressed and so thankful for the additional supports.
In addition to that, one of the things we did to enhance equity at Madrona was to find solutions for our families who do not have access to transportation to come to school. We asked our parents who have their children bussed to school to come to a back-to-school night or to a parent-teacher conference, but they don’t necessarily have the transportation to get to these events. I found that I really needed to bring the meetings and the events to the community. So, working with those in the community, we ended up bringing our English Learner Advisory Committee meetings to the community center and holding them there.
As far as I know, no other school site in our district had done this. As a matter of fact, I’m proud to say that I just heard that another school site is going to be replicating our model. Imitation is the highest form of flattery, and what we found is that we had a lot of our families who were now able to participate in these meetings, just by our moving the location.
Also, what are ways that we can provide bussing to our families during those school-hosted family fun festival nights or movie nights or whatever it may be? I remember working with our school district so that we were able to have a shuttle bus go to the community and pick up families to attend our family movie night. Showing families that they matter to us, that we will do what is necessary to help their kids succeed and feel a part of a true community—those efforts are so important in fostering student growth and self-efficacy. Sometimes it is just a matter of removing logistical barriers to social and academic support.
At one point in the pandemic, I was taking some of our intervention team to provide services at the community center rather than having them at the school site base. We also decided to think beyond the traditional 8:00 to 3:00 model, knowing that some of our families in most need of support only have availability outside of typical school hours. How can we have our intervention team also provide support outside of the general 8-3 timeframe? These are some of the questions that inspired us to try to find creative ways to support our families, novel ways that are beyond what is the quoted norm.
Our team broke down barriers. It’s really about breaking down barriers, building a sense of community, and bringing everyone to the table. Showing those gestures and being authentic really let those in the community feel valued. Having their voices heard made them reciprocate and participate even further, which then only enhanced student engagement, performance, and happiness.
[OnlineEdDPrograms.com] You are also President of the California Association of Asian and Pacific Leaders in Education (CAAPLE). May we have more information about this organization and your role in it? How does CAAPLE aim to unite Asian American and Pacific Islander students, teachers, education leaders, and members of the community to advocate for social justice and equity?
[Dr. Isaac Huang] The California Association of Asian and Pacific Leaders in Education (CAAPLE) is a fairly new organization. We’re coming up on our one-year anniversary, which is going to be in November 2022. We’re so excited and thrilled about that. Our mission is to bridge, connect, and help with recruitment and retainment of Asian-Pacific Islander (API) leaders and educators, in addition to supporting the needs of API students.
In my journey as an educator, I remember going to conferences and not seeing many other Asians in those conferences. If I did see one, I had an immediate affinity and connection with that person all the way across on the other side of the hallway: “Hey, I see you and I recognize you.” We automatically have a bond at that point. Just like our other marginalized groups, such as our Latinx and our African-American educators and population—there is a disparity with the number of students as well as the number of educators, whether it be teachers or administrators, in the API circle.
So, one of the things that we want to bring up is: how do we continue to recruit and retain API educators, as well as administrators and teachers, in the field of education? We want to make sure that we have equal API representation with regards to the number of students that we have in the state of California and also nationwide, as well as the number of teachers who are in front of the students.
In addition, I think one of the big pieces for our organization is to break down various stereotypes. One of the things I want to emphasize is that even though there’s a socio-political construct of Asian-American and Pacific Islanders, we are not a monolith. We’re looking at over 50 different ethnicities with different cultural backgrounds, different languages, and different life experiences. To lump us all into one category does us an injustice.
It is really important for us to continue to advocate against a stereotypical East Asian perspective that some may have. We need to be mindful of our South Asians and our Desi communities as well. We need to be mindful of our Pacific Islander community because they have their own unique stories, challenges, and needs. We need to be mindful of our West Asian and our Southeast Asian communities. The migration-immigration patterns for the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community are so vastly different, depending on where you may be coming from, which is also an important contextual piece for us to be mindful of, as well as the generational aspects of this.
In addition to problems with the monolith aspect, I wanted to talk about the falsehood of the model minority. This myth is such a big piece of what needs to be addressed, and I don’t think that there has been enough spotlight put on it. There’s a false assumption that Asian-Americans don’t need any support or that all Asian-Americans are good at math. This false assumption may lead some of our teachers to fail to recognize that there are API students who are struggling; and with that false assumption, these students get lost and fall through the cracks.
We also want to fight that false assumption that API educators and leaders can’t serve in leadership roles because we’re supposedly more silent or reserved. There’s a stereotypical assumption that leaders need to be vocal. They need to be out front, leading the charge, and be so extroverted. However, this is not necessarily the case. You can lead in so many different ways.
I’ve heard of experiences in talking to others where they may have been passed up for promotional opportunities because they were viewed as a great right-hand person who can do all the number-crunching and all the work behind the scenes. This person may not be great, quote, unquote, “leadership material,” because they may be a little bit more thoughtful or a little bit more reserved before speaking.
So, CAAPLE wants to break down some of those stereotypes and make sure that our voice is heard.
[OnlineEdDPrograms.com] In what ways do you hope that CAAPLE expands in the next few years, given that it’s a very young organization and as such, there are many different possibilities and directions in which it could go as an organization, in terms of initiatives and programs?
[Dr. Isaac Huang] One of the things that we take a look at is nationwide trends, such as Asian-American and Pacific Islander groups being one of the largest-growing populations percentage-wise in the United States. I think by the year 2055 or something like that, we may become the largest minority group here in the United States because of the current immigration trends that are going on.
It’s something for us as educators to be mindful of because that means that we’re going to have a larger influx of Asian-American and Pacific Islander students in our classroom. So, we need to make sure that their needs are met. When we’re looking at CAAPLE, we definitely want to increase our membership and increase our voice within the education field in terms of our legislature, so that the API lens is taken into account when policies are being brought forward.
Looking at the history as it is recorded in textbooks and other literature, I would argue that the history of the Asian-American or Pacific Islander community has not even been addressed in our textbooks. This isn’t meant to mitigate the struggles of our African-American population and our Latinx population, but API history has been glossed over. So, we need to continue to advocate to make sure that our voice is there and that we have a seat at the table when we’re looking at textbook adoptions or when we’re looking at textbook writing in itself.
Why is it that our stories are not being heard? We need to advocate for our Indigenous populations as well, in collaboration with our sisters and brothers in the California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators (CALSA) and the California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators (CAAASA). Our Indigenous communities have not been adequately represented or heard in the education field.
In our work right now with CALSA and CAAASA, we want to make efforts to further collaborate and unify our joint voices to ensure that our marginalized communities are being heard, that we’re being seen, and that we’re at the table for all these conversations.
[OnlineEdDPrograms.com] You are also a Committee Member for the Mentoring Development Committee for the California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators (CALSA). Could you elaborate on this position?
[Dr. Isaac Huang] I was introduced to CALSA by one of my colleagues in the doctoral program probably back in 2013. CALSA has a well-renowned mentorship program. I wasn’t able to join the cohort that my colleague was in—but I went to the conference. I actually slept on the floor in his room, and he was gracious enough to loan me some towels. He said, “Here’s some towels, you go ahead and do a makeshift bed,” and so I said, “That’s fine.” I still had a lot of student loans and things to pay off with the doctoral degree, so any dollars I could save, I was willing to do. But I really wanted to attend this conference because I had heard so many great things about it.
I went to the conference, and I felt like family. They welcomed me with open arms. I think that’s something that I was missing because at that time I was looking for a group, and there was not an Asian-American/Pacific Islander affinity group. There was not an organization with members that looked like me, represented who I was, or really championed the API community; and I often wonder why that didn’t occur.
At that point in my career, I just did not perhaps either have the experience or the drive, for lack of a better term, to go out and be brazen enough to just start a group on my own. Rather than doing that, I said, “I’m being welcomed. I’m being embraced by CALSA, and I don’t have an affinity organization of my own.” CALSA is an organization that understands some of the struggles that we go through as minorities. So, that’s what led me to CALSA. Going through their wonderful mentorship program, I wanted to sustain and always give back because it gave me so much personally.
I was fortunate and blessed enough to be asked to be a part of their mentoring program by the Director of the Mentoring Program, Dr. Juan Santos. Now I am one of the six members in our committee that help steer and drive the program moving forward. So, that’s what I do in terms of the mentorship program and that’s how I got into the program.
[OnlineEdDPrograms.com] Could you elaborate on why you feel it is important to have these inter-minority group collaborations to effect change across the board for all marginalized communities and learners, and education leaders?
[Dr. Isaac Huang] The API community is not a monolith. There are over 50-plus ethnicities. We each have our own distinct culture, our own distinct language and voice, and experiences. It’s a delicate balance, but we have to recognize and acknowledge those differences.
If we look at having a singular voice within the community, it becomes more difficult to have our voices heard. But when we work collaboratively and jointly under this larger umbrella, it provides a lot more power and emphasis to having our voice heard, whether it’s going to be through legislation and policy or curriculum, whatever it may be.
So, we need to make sure that we unite in that sense for the common good for all of our children. It goes back to CAAPLE, CALSA, and CAAASA. Although you may be African-American or Latino/Latina and we may be Asian-American and Pacific Islander, our voices singularly can only go so far. When we unite our voices, the impact and the power of that goes for miles and miles.
That’s the power behind us. We are recognizing that by working together, we can get so much farther, especially with a common goal of bringing awareness and of having equal representation at the table to make changes. So, this is the true impact of the systemic changes we can make through a collaborative joint effort.
[OnlineEdDPrograms.com] What do you do as a mentor to current members of the program, or current aspiring education leaders who are part of CALSA? How have your experiences being welcomed as a different minority with common experiences been brought to your mentorship of new education leaders?
[Dr. Isaac Huang] For me, it’s always about remembering your roots. I think that’s important for all of us, and I think we can all reflect upon our roots and remember that journey and the struggle.
We’ve all had struggles. It’s really important for us to not forget that struggle and to know that there are others who are going through those same struggles. It’s important for us to lift others up and not have that crab-barrel mentality where we’re pulling each other down. We need to remember that at one point, we stood on the shoulders of the giants before us, so we need to make sure that we are lifting those that are coming up behind us up and building capacity within them. That’s truly important.
When we’re looking at the work that CALSA is doing in terms of the mentorship program, it’s about finding the right pair. It’s a thorough process where there’s an application process, and we do interviews with those that want to be candidates in the program. Part of that interview process is to really learn about the candidate, who they are as an individual, and then finding the right mentor for what they need.
Sometimes they’ll say what they need, but through the conversations during the interview process, as a committee, we determine that’s actually not what they need. They actually may need something else, and it’s a little bit more hidden under the surface.
We match them after the interview process, and then we do have a scope and sequence that we work through with the program because we want to make sure that both our mentors and our protégées receive professional development and that they build a bond.
The bond and experiences between the protégée and mentor are obviously confidential and between them, but we build in reflection pieces. While we are so busy as educators that we sometimes don’t have enough time in the day to get everything done, it is important to make sure that we invest in ourselves. We want to make sure that individuals are reflecting about their experiences and then later go back and review those reflections and discuss them with their mentors. It’s not about telling our protégées the answer; it’s always about how do we lead the conversation and guide them to find their own answer.
This is really important, and that’s what a mentor does. A coach will tell you what to do, but a mentor will guide you so that you find the answer yourself. I think those are the key differences.
We have had a conversation around bringing a similar mentorship program to CAAPLE eventually. Since CAAPLE is still fairly new, we are asking questions such as, “How do we build the program? Will it be a collaborative effort with CALSA, or a standalone program?”
[OnlineEdDPrograms.com] Having worked in the public school arena for over 20 years and held leadership roles in public education for a decade, how have you seen public education at the primary and secondary levels evolve? What challenges do you see new education leaders facing in today’s rapidly changing education landscape? How do you advise these leaders best prepare for and meet these challenges?
[Dr. Isaac Huang] When I first started teaching, we always talked about the pendulum swinging. It swings back and forth in terms of education. What I see right now is that we are more focused on the whole child, especially coming out of the pandemic. This is such a big piece in how we’re implementing social-emotional learning curriculum in our classrooms day-in and day-out. We are also looking at other enrichment experiences. So, I know that we have a lot of schools that are focused on STEM and STEAM, or language opportunities as a dual-language school.
We’re looking at other experiences for our children, so that they become well-rounded individuals for our 21st century and our global society. It’s not just about the arithmetic and the language arts piece, but how we build those soft skills as well. For some of our teachers and educators, it is a mindset shift. It is difficult to change practices and to have different outcomes and expectations if you are used to doing something a certain way for ten, 15, or 20 years. However, it is something we need to do for our children.
Some of the immediate challenges right now revolve around how we work through some of the learning loss that happened during the pandemic and how we can accelerate learning.
Another major challenge I’m seeing right now is having problems filling positions. We talk about the great resignation, and the education field is not immune to that. It will be a big challenge. Moreover, looking at the current age span and the global demographics of where our teachers are in terms of their years of service in education, we have a greater bulk heading toward retirement. There’s going to be a great shortfall at that point.
Also, there was a heavy time in our nation when we had massive teacher layoffs. So, there’s a gap between teachers retiring and having young teachers on the bench left to support our students. We are facing a shortfall in the number of teachers that we have available to support our students and our learners, and there’s going to be a bigger need in the future.
In addition, how do we get members of our community to be our classified staff—to serve and support as the librarian or as the office manager or campus supervisor or one-on-one aide or instructional support? How do we build pathways as a district for those that start in those classified positions to eventually lead toward teaching opportunities for them and building credential programs for them?
Individuals in these classified positions may start off as an instructional aide, but are we providing a pathway for them to become a credentialed teacher and how do we support them? So, building the capacity of individuals in classified positions to become teachers could be something that some of our families are interested in. Overall, human resources is definitely going to be one of the biggest challenges.
I’ve frequently heard about the fiscal issue regarding pensions. There’s going to be a fiscal cliff due to the rising costs of pensions, which are incurred by school districts as well. How do we generate the revenue to meet those demands? There are so many demands and trying to find fiscal ways to support all these programs and all the needs that are out there will definitely be difficult.
It goes back to how we as society view the field of education. Everyone says education is such a noble profession, and we always talk about education’s importance. But do we put our money where our mouth is? We hear stories about how underpaid our teachers and classified staff are. I firmly believe that we should make sure that we have adequate funding to support our teachers and our classified staff members who support our children because they are our number one priority as a society.
This may be a little bit stereotypical, but at least from what I’m hearing from others, it was always talked about how you should be a doctor, a lawyer, or another profession. It was never mentioned that you should be a teacher. So, it is important to raise awareness within the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community about being more mindful of other educational or occupational opportunities.
Academic Interview Questions
[OnlineEdDPrograms.com] What key insights and skills did you gain during your enrollment in your Ed.D.? What was the topic of your dissertation, and did your research on this topic inform your future career goals and achievements? For current Ed.D. students who are considering their dissertation topic or working on their dissertation, what advice do you have for them in terms of getting the most out of this intensive research experience?
[Dr. Isaac Huang] My doctoral program really taught me how to persevere and truly understand how much I don’t know. It was really important to see how many different avenues and aspects there are in education, before doing a deeper dive into one particular topic.
My dissertation investigated how superintendents support the academic instruction of English language learners towards positive educational outcomes. From my research, I realized there are so many facets and so many ways to do things. Each superintendent has a slightly different approach, but ultimately their goals were all the same.
Conducting the research, understanding the process of obtaining relevant data and methodically analyzing that data, were excellent skills and tools that I could use in practice as a school leader. Regardless of whether one is a school principal, district leader, or director of special programs, understanding research methodologies in the field, knowing how to measure important outcomes and then adjust programs or approaches so that we have positive learning outcomes for all children is important.
In my doctoral study, what we found out is that successful superintendents really had a clear synergy between their after-school program and what was being brought forward during the traditional instructional six-hour day. Whatever lessons or curriculum teachers were using—whatever key vocabulary and systems were in place—those continued in the after-school program, so that there was continuity. The after-school programs were not programs done in isolation. They were actually a continuation of the traditional school day.
We saw a lot of additional gains where successful districts also brought in enrichment pieces, homework support, or additional intervention pieces during the after-school program. We found that having the continuity and collaboration between the school staff who teaches during the 8:30 to 3:00 period and the staff that comes in from 3:00 to 6:00 to work together as a team rather than isolated pieces were crucial.
There are so many after-school programs. You have Boys and Girls Club, a park and recreation program, or whatever may be within your community. These programs have their own people that run and staff the program. They’ll have their own set curriculum. You don’t necessarily have an exact alignment between what you are doing during the school day and what the after-school program that we are bringing in is doing. In such cases, it was really important there was continuity in the systems being used—for example, to make sure that we’re using the same exact computer program in our after-school programs as we are in the traditional school day. This way, students can continue their progress, rather than having to adapt to a whole new system.
[OnlineEdDPrograms.com] What methodologies did you use for your dissertation? Was it qualitative because you were talking with different superintendents and gathering data that way?
[Dr. Isaac Huang] When I finished up, it was a mixed method study. I did send out a quantitative survey to superintendents with a Likert rating scale, and it had various questions about the way they implemented instructional practices, specifically revolving around English language learners and so forth.
I worked with two other colleagues. One focused on small rural districts while the other looked at large urban districts. I focused on medium-size school districts that had 5,000 to 15,000 students. My particular focus was on the smaller suburban school districts. After the survey’s quantitative piece and interviewing superintendents throughout the state of California, I then went further into the qualitative research and specifically reached out to a few of those superintendents that participated in the study and asked them follow-up interview questions.
While I loved the quantitative piece because it gave a really broad overview in terms of those metrics, you really got to see the nitty-gritty in the details through the conversations, which I would not have received through just the survey piece. I valued and learned a lot of things professionally and personally that I could implement. It was so enriching.
For example, the superintendents were talking about their programs that they were implementing, and some of these real-world experiences outside of my district were ones that I could then put in my back pocket and say, “That’s a great idea. I didn’t think about that. We can do this in other contexts.”
For any other Ed.D. students who are out there, I think having interviews is really important in not only learning about the topic, but also in terms of networking as you’re moving forward, because the interviewees are individuals who can be valuable mentors, collaborators, and even future colleagues.
It’s important to have the frame of mind where you’re in a continual growth cycle so that you are reflecting, analyzing your data, and then knowing how to move forward with an implementation of an improvement. It’s important to have this background, so you have a base of knowledge to speak on, and you can speak on that knowledge confidently and with credibility.
With that being said, I do want to point out to anyone with a leadership perspective that you can’t move anything forward without the support of other people. You can have great knowledge of program improvement and how to cycle things forward, but if you can’t build relationships with other people, they’re not going to follow along.
So, the interpersonal relationship piece is important—how you build capacity with others so that they are willing to follow along. How do you get others to buy into your idea? In such cases, having that Ed.D. can be impactful, as it gives you the credibility of having conducted a doctoral study and earned the title of doctor. But to me, I truly believe in being humble. If you walk into a room saying, “Hey, I’ve got this doctorate and you need to come follow me,” then everyone in that room is going to turn a blind eye and say, “Forget this person.”
How do you build trust with others? It does not come instantaneously. It’s work. This is something you have to build from the get-go. I want to stress to any leader of any system that making sure that you build those interpersonal relationships with others is first and foremost.
After you develop those relationships, then you can say, “I have this background knowledge and experience in this theory or in this area of program improvement, and I want to take us together in this positive direction.” As a principal, I couldn’t do that by myself. I need to rely on my teachers to buy into this, so that they can also lead their students and their learners within their classroom. It’s not just our teachers; it is also our cafeteria manager and our custodians. It’s also our families and our community where everyone is collaborating. We all have to buy into this belief system and also buy into whatever program improvement system that school site is going to implement.
[OnlineEdDPrograms.com] Are there other pieces of advice that you give Ed.D. students on how to stay motivated or how to stay organized as they’re working on their dissertation?
[Dr. Isaac Huang] For anyone who is in a doctoral program right now, my recommendation is to try not to head down rabbit holes. You can easily head down a rabbit hole because you get so invested and involved—like what about this and what about that or I didn’t consider this or that.
There comes a point in time when you need to just cap it off and just go for it. The rabbit holes are things that you can write up within your dissertation, saying they are for future studies or can be potential recommendations for other individuals to follow up on. Just stay focused with what you have. A done dissertation is the best dissertation.
Thank you, Dr. Isaac Huang, for your excellent insight into the current public education landscape, and how education leaders can cultivate more engaging and equitable education environments for their students!