Dr. Dallas Dance, Tech, Learner Agency & the Achievement Gap

The Path to Higher Ed is a SchooLinks hosted podcast community that explores trending topics and issues in the area of college and career readiness. Our featured guests are pushing education forward by constantly learning from, innovating and applying their college and career readiness practices.

Dr. Dallas Dance, former Superintendent of Baltimore County Schools, talks with us about how to address barriers between teachers and students by focusing on what it means to have a culturally competent approach to teaching students who come from different backgrounds. Dr. Dance also carefully stresses that the role of the counselor is to bridge that cultural gap by truly showing that they care. Likewise, he discusses the importance of connecting what is happening at school and home to what students will have to face in the real world that awaits them after high school.

Through his work in education, Dr. Dance has also had to oversee organizational change management initiatives that have provided him with insight into what organizational readiness truly means. He is leveraging those insights in his current work to help equip classrooms across the country with the tools needed to build digital citizenship.

About Dr. Dance

Distinguished as a vibrant, visionary, and innovative leader, Dr. S. Dallas Dance is the Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of The DDance Group, Inc., a Virginia-based professional services consulting firm with a mission to provide unmatched customer service to every client allowing them to further improve educational outcomes for each student through a deliberate focus on people and equity.

Prior to starting The DDance Group, Dr. Dance served as the Superintendent of Baltimore County Public Schools in Maryland with over 112,000 students, 173 schools, and over 21,000 employees. As leader of the nation’s 25th largest school system, Dance pioneered equity-centered shifts in teaching and learning to close the graduation achievement gap between black and white students, while increasing graduation rates overall.

Numerous national awards and board appointments — from institutions including the White House, Microsoft, and ASCD — recognize his impact on organizational culture, rigorous instruction, vibrant leadership pathways, leveraging technology, and dynamic community engagement.

Prior to his appointment in Baltimore County, Dr. Dance served as one of three chief school officers responsible for the administration of nearly 300 schools in the Houston Independent School District, the seventh largest school system in the nation. Before his tenure in Houston, Dr. Dance served in executive leadership positions at the central office and building levels in Virginia that leveraged his expertise in curriculum, instruction, assessment, school improvement, and strategic planning.

Dance earned a doctoral degree in educational leadership and a master’s degree in administration and supervision from Virginia Commonwealth University. His bachelor’s degree in English is from Virginia Union University.

Dr. Dance enjoys traveling, music, reading and all sports, especially golf. He is the proud father of one son, Myles Dallas Dance.

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