ERIC Number: ED469535
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Community Organizing for School Reform, Washington, DC: A Recovering Plantation.
Henderson, Anne T.
Because the District of Columbia (DC) is a federal district, its governance is peculiar. The DC public school system is plagued by poor management, internal strife, unstable leadership, low student achievement, shrinking enrollment, and declining community confidence. During the 1960s, Mayor Barry and the civil rights-home rule movement brought community organizing into DC. The two groups doing real organizing around educational issues have only been active in recent years. The Washington Interfaith Network is a citywide network that builds multiracial, multicultural organization to empower parents and citizens to be major players in city politics. Asian-American LEAD organizes and advocates for the local Vietnamese refugee community. Both groups work to build the power and influence of people who are poor, underserved, and ignored by the system. They focus on developing local leaders who can organize others and bring pressure to bear on public officials, the schools, and the school district. They also work to make schools more accountable and responsive to families and students. Both use ad hoc methods to evaluate their actions and impact, and both have had some solid successes. However, challenges include poor political accountability and difficulty working with the DC public school system. A directory of organizations is appended. (SM)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Community Involvement, Educational Change, Elementary Secondary Education, Governance, High Risk Students, Parent Participation, Politics of Education, Poverty, Public Schools, Racial Relations, School Community Relationship, Urban Schools
New York University, Institute for Education and Social Policy, 726 Broadway, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10003, Tel: 212-998-5880; Fax: 212-995-4564; Web site: http://www.nyu.edu/iesp.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: New York Univ., NY. Inst. for Education and Social Policy.