ADVOCATE FOR COMMUNITY SCHOOLS
Unlike the charter school model, which requires students, parents, teachers and principals to buy into a particular model of school transformation, community schools at their core, are about including these stakeholders in determining what the model will be. A community schools model focuses it’s support around the needs of the current student body rather than marketing to families to bring in students who fit a model that was established without the involvement of stakeholders. Community schools have a mandate to hire high quality teachers, provide challenging and engaging curricula, and most importantly, provide students with wrap around supports, positive school climate, and strong ties to family and community. These are the elements of school transformation that will give our children the opportunities they deserve in a fully democratic society.
With the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) communities can lobby school boards and legislators to create or transform their schools into Community Schools under the ESSA guidelines. Community schools are another tool to improve struggling public schools. Since Hurricane Katrina nearly every public school in New Orleans has been closed or turned into a charter school. Even with this large scale transformation of public education, New Orleans students still struggle to score mastery on state level tests. It’s clear that our children can’t afford to have all of our school reform efforts placed into a singular system of charter schools. We encourage communities to study community schools research and be proactive especially when faced with the possibility of having a school closed or taken over by an outside entity that operates without input from the community.
In the links below, we have provided you with evidence based research provided by our national education research organizations that will meet the ESSA requirements as well as the tools you will need to have in order to advocate for Community Schools in your district.
These materials are created by outside parties but are available to the public.
A PROPOSAL FOR SUSTAINABLE SCHOOL TRANSFORMATION