ERIC Number: ED469966
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Aug
Community Organizing for School Reform in Philadelphia.
Mediratta, Kavitha; Fruchter, Norm; Gross, Barbara; Keller, Christine Donis; Bonilla, Mili
Pennsylvania's Philadelphia School District has a high percentage of minority, bilingual, and low-income students and suffers from low student achievement, chaotic instructional organization, teacher shortage, dilapidated school facilities, and lack of accountability. Six community organizing groups are working with parents and youth for local and citywide school improvement: Asian Americans United; ACORN; Alliance Organizing Project; Eastern Philadelphia Organizing Project; Philadelphia Students' Union/Urban Retrievers; and Youth United for Change. Data from surveys and interviews indicate that the six groups define their school reform mission as the development of youth, parent, or community leadership to fight for better and more responsive public schools. Most are building local and citywide organizations with the power to hold school officials and political leaders accountable. Most of the groups work with low income African American and Latino families, though some have multiracial membership. Organizing issues range from building conditions, safety, bilingual education, and student achievement to systemwide concerns about funding, academic standards, and access to qualified teachers and technology. Challenges they face include negative attitudes toward parents, youth, and community groups and instability within the school system. A directory of organizations is appended. (SM)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Asian American Students, Black Students, Change Strategies, Community Involvement, Educational Change, Elementary Secondary Education, Governance, High Risk Students, Hispanic American 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 - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: New York Univ., NY. Inst. for Education and Social Policy.