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E-update, Week of May 5, 2010

Coalition for Community Schools' E-Update, May 5, 2010

ESEA Watch

Community Schools Cited in Research Behind the Obama Administration’s Proposal for Reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)! Yesterday the Obama administration released a series of documents outlining the research that supports the proposals in its blueprint for revising the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). You can find the research on community schools here: Successful, Safe, and Healthy Students section, under 21st Century Community Learning Centers. In this section they showcase the Children’s Aid Society Community Schools model! They also note that "Schools that move toward a full-service community school model also show positive results."
You can access research on all of the Blueprint sections at the Department of ED’s ESEA blog

ESEA Renewal Looks to Address Needs of 'Whole Child'
As Congress is readying to renew the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, lawmakers and the Administration are seeking to address a big flaw in NCLB - too much emphasis on students’ test scores and little attention to their health and other needs. "If you’re going to add all this stuff on, doesn’t this require more personnel?...As you add all this stuff on, you’re going to have to add more people, mentors, librarians. … How do we do that?" asked Sen. Harkin. Answer: Community Schools!

ESEA: Ed Groups Want Stronger Focus on Parent Involvement

Education groups are pressing the Obama administration and Congress to include family engagement provisions in the rewrite of the law, which the Education Department had hoped would wend its way through the legislative wickets by July 31. Currently, the "Blueprint" mentions "parents" 5 times. Research shows that family engagement is a key component to students' academic success, so why is the Administration paying so little attention to it?

Coalition’s ESEA Comments for Senate HELP Committee
Please find attached the Coalition’s draft letter of recommendations to the Senate on ESEA. We must submit these on Friday. Please review and send your comments/suggestions to by 5/6/2010 (Thursday) at NOON, if possible. If you like the language, please consider using some of it in your own letter of recommendation to the Senate—and please let us know if you plan to do this.


Promise Neighborhoods RFP Released!
Access application materials, FAQs, webinar archives, etc. at the Department of ED’s website: You can also register for Promise Neighborhood websites at this

Foundations Commit $506m to Education Innovation
12 major foundations are committing $506m in support of education innovation. Some of these funds will help applicants come up with the matching funds for the U.S. Department of Education's $650 million Investing in Innovation (i3) Fund. The foundations also set up an Internet portal for applying for matching funds from all the foundations in one step, streamlining the task of seeking money from multiple sources.

Race to Top Hopefuls Seek To Crack 'Buy-In' Puzzle
In the round-two scramble for Race to the Top, the need for district and union buy-in poses a policy puzzle for states. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has recently made it clear that a watered-down application won't win on the strength of significant district and union backing. District participation is directly implicated in 70 of the 500 points, or 14%. Teacher union endorsement also helps, but doesn't play as significant a role. Far trickier is figuring out how important approval is in the rest of the application. (Education Week, premium article access compliments of, 05/04/10)

John Goodlad on school reform: Are we ignoring lessons of last 50 years?

Goodlad, in his Washington Post blog, notes, "We will never have the schools we need until local communities, educators and their organizations, and policymakers share a common mission for them. And we will never have the world-class schools we seek until the people closest to them and best prepared for their agency are their designated stewards. " What do you think? You should take some time and comment on his blog. It is a 3-part series.

You Aren't Born a Gang Member
This Ed Daily article by Kim Riley, argues that school-based supports and prevention services can deter gangs. She notes that "Title I, Part D funds can be used for school-based gang reduction and prevention programs that target students who are at a higher risk of joining a gang." Such programs, found in community schools, provide support to youth who come to school with multiple risk factors (e.g. family poverty, negative life events, lack of parental supervision, etc.).

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Learning, Teaching, and Leading in Healthy School Communities
This report, Learning, Teaching, and Leading in Healthy School Communities summarizes key findings from the Healthy School Communities pilot study that was conducted from 2006 to 2008. Significant highlight is given to the Nine Levers of School Change that were demonstrated by the most effective sites. The report can be found in this month’s Educational Leadership, as an insert, but is also available for download.

Community Schools Evaluation Toolkit, 2009

This toolkit is designed to help community schools evaluate their efforts so that they learn from their successes, identify current challenges, and plan future efforts. It provides a step-by-step process for planning and conducting an evaluation at your community school site(s). The toolkit is a practical, hands-on guide that makes it possible for you to improve your community school’s effectiveness and to tell your story. Equally important, it offers a menu of data collection tools (i.e. surveys, public databases) for evaluating whether and how your school is achieving results. Access the toolkit here: Please share this with your community school initiatives, networks, and colleagues!

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