ERIC Number: ED475909
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Oct
Organizing for School Reform: How Communities Are Finding Their Voices and Reclaiming Their Public Schools.
Mediratta, Kavitha; Fruchter, Norm; Lewis, Anne C.
This report examines the work of 66 community groups organizing to improve public education in low-performing schools and districts. These largely local, community-based organizations focus on engaging public school parents, low-income families, and students in school improvement efforts. Their goals are to build political power and to challenge school systems that serve children poorly. This report describes the diversity of methods and approaches groups are using and reports groups' organizing achievements and challenges. Results find that school reform organizing plays a significant role in creating the political context in which change can happen. Organizing groups focus schools on critical issues, identify and build support for key interventions, and establish a stronger sense of accountability between schools and communities. They are increasing the ability of young people, parents, and community residents to participate in local reform efforts, and they are helping members to raise essential school performance questions forcefully and persistently. The report discusses implications for educators and offers recommendations for funders (e.g., the need to develop greater capacity in the organizing groups, create and strengthen intermediary or "support" organizations that provide technical help such as data analysis, and develop better ways to measure the impact of organizing). An appendix describes the methodology used and includes contact information for the organizations profiled in the study. (SM)
Descriptors: Community Involvement, Community Organizations, Educational Improvement, Elementary Secondary Education, Low Achievement, Low Income Groups, Parent Participation, Politics of Education, Public Schools, School Community Relationship, Urban Schools
Institute for Education and Social Policy, 726 Broadway, Fifth Floor, New York, NY 10003. Tel: 212-998-5880; Fax: 212-995-4564; Web site: http://www.nyu.edu/iesp.
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Edward W. Hazen Foundation, Inc., New Haven, CT.; Ford Foundation, New York, NY.; New World Foundation, New York, NY.; Rockefeller Bros. Fund, New York, NY.; Surdna Foundation, Inc., New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: New York Univ., NY. Inst. for Education and Social Policy.
Identifiers - Location: California (Los Angeles); California (San Francisco); District of Columbia; Illinois (Chicago); Maryland (Baltimore); New York (New York); Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)