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Community School News

Stop Humiliating Teachers

Everyone celebrates individual teachers yet we tend to blame public-school teachers for economic or social crises. This demand for accountability and zeal for drastic reorganization obscures the fact that we don’t know how to educate poor inner-city and rural kids. Teachers are held responsible for the real problem-persistent poverty. If we want to improve scores and graduation rates we have to commit resources to helping poor parents raise their children and stop blaming teachers for iniquity. Read More >

Interest Growing in Public-Private Partnerships for Education

A new Teachers College report finds that more communities across the country are looking into cross-sector collaboration in education. The report examines a new model called collective impact characterized by partnerships focusing on setting measurable goals and monitoring progress through data analysis. The report doesn’t evaluate the success of these partnerships but does point to growing recognition and interest in the kinds of public-private partnerships that community schools promote. Read More >

Years Into Austin’s Community Schools Experiment, National Policy Catches Up

Allen Weeks presented Austin ISD board members with the community-generated plan for Webb, the result of nine months of meetings with teachers, students and neighbors. It includes a short list of new priorities- stronger college-going culture, more afterschool and summer classes for students, and better communication between school staff, parents and community groups. Community schools remain relevant in Texas where lawmakers added community-based assessments of school performance in 2013. Read More >

A day in the life of a community school director

Follow Fiorella Guevara, Community School Director for M.S. 50 in NYC on her daily responsibilities coordinating the activities, social services, and parent workshops that the mayor is hoping will help set struggling schools on a different path. The mission- treat students’ physical or emotional ailments so they can focus on learning. For Guevara, that means “day-to-day ensuring that the vision we’ve laid out is going…troubleshooting when there’s something that’s not going right with the plan". Read More >

Parents, teachers and children rally for public education at schools across the nation

Wednesday morning thousands of people staged 'walk-ins' at 800 schools across the nation demanding more funding and less testing. The walk-ins became venues for many different messages including de-emphasizing standardized tests, slowing down charter school growth and ending state takeovers of local school systems, as well as building more community schools, which offer a host of social, emotional and physical health supports. The event was organized by the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools. Read More >

Bill to provide funding for Community schools serving students who live in poverty

Baltimore City delegate Mary Washington is calling for the state to spend more money on community schools serving students living in poverty, nearly half of Maryland's public school student population. The bill sets out a $25,000 state grant over four years for qualifying schools. Principal Gaither of Wolfe Street Academy, a community school, says in support, "It's the system that discovers the need and addresses it with partnerships and ideas that are already out there waiting for clients". Read More >

New Report Shows How Community Schools Transform Schools, Communities, Lives

Today, the Center for Popular Democracy, Coalition for Community Schools, and the Southern Education Foundation released a report, Community Schools: Transforming Struggling Schools into Thriving Schools. The report profiles 6 schools, 3 districts and a state who have left nothing to chance. They have come to thrive through coordinated implementation of six research-based elements of Community Schools. The report offers policy templates and demonstrates success across diverse communities. Read More >

Hoping and Waiting for a Bronx School's Fresh Start to Pay Off

The New York Renewal schools program converted schools into community schools which offer services to students and their families to address issues from outside the classroom which affect learning. A public school previously closed in the Bronx has reopened as Urban Scholars Community School, drawing students from the poorest congressional district in the country, many of whom live in homeless shelters. The investment is one part of a strategy to address the vast needs of this community. Read More >

Wraparound Community Schools Are Long Term Investment, Not Quick Turnaround

Whether or not it will quickly raise test scores, the Community School model—when it is carefully and strategically implemented—is very likely to assist desperate families and coordinate medical and dental health services along with after-school enrichment for a wide range of children and families. But such a strategy is a big gamble, because it isn’t guaranteed to raise test scores according to the quick “turnaround” time line our society has come to expect. Read More >

Marty Blank Investigates the Place-Based Charter School

Marty Blank asks what responsibility public charter schools have to the neighborhoods where they are located. For community development leaders who see schools as a key institutions in their efforts to revitalize neighborhoods, it is important to look closely at the role of charter schools. Given the vital role that public schools play in our communities and our democracy and the highly conflicted charter schools environment, here are some questions we should be asking about charter schools. Read More >

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