ERIC Number: ED411115
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993
Reference Count: N/A
Organizing Communities for Educational Improvement: The Brownsville Site Interim Report. Urban Education Annual Report 1993.
James, Betty Harris
A collaborative parent-community-school (PCS) model facilitates the involvement of disadvantaged and minority parents, community leaders, and community organizations in educational improvement activities, with a focus on at-risk children and youth in high-risk communities. PCS has a more comprehensive agenda than parent participation, and addresses problems and issues not directly related to school personnel and property. An important feature is the "center of activity"--an accessible community place that serves as a neutral zone and "greenhouse" to nurture parent confidence and trust; equalize power; and allow full expression of parent, community, and school concerns. Case studies describe the informal and formal implementation of the PCS model in three minority disadvantaged neighborhoods in West Virginia and Virginia. Lessons learned from these projects relate to the implications of social and cultural differences, newfound leadership power and community conflicts, communication across barriers of difference, and lack of trust between school and community. The selection of Haywood County, Tennessee, as a demonstration site for the PCS model is described. A preliminary survey revealed that elementary teachers and parents differed significantly in attitudes about educational quality at the elementary school. To avoid the development of debilitating defense mechanisms between school staff and the community, the project was moved to an alternative high school--a "safer" environment for partnership formation. The survey also provided a tool for planning specific interventions as next steps in establishing a workable school-community partnership. Contains 21 references and a list of suggested readings. (SV)
Descriptors: Case Studies, Community Action, Community Involvement, Disadvantaged, Educational Improvement, Elementary Secondary Education, Empowerment, High Risk Students, Minority Groups, Models, Parent School Relationship, Partnerships in Education, Program Implementation, School Community Relationship, Urban Areas
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Appalachia Educational Lab., Charleston, WV.
Identifiers - Location: Tennessee