How is it that, 60 years after the Brown v. Board of Education decision that ended the legal basis for separate but equal schooling, some public schools in the United States have gleaming labs, libraries and laptops while others lack textbooks, toilet paper and teachers certified in their subjects?
When will it all pay off? I believe we'll begin to see some return on investment almost immediately. Public awareness, for instance, tends to grow geometrically rather than arithmetically, so we could see relatively quick gains in local and national support.
On March 27, policymakers, teachers, philanthropists and Integrated Student Supports providers rolled up their sleeves, pulled up their chairs, and sat down at the table -- both literally and figuratively. And with that, ISS officially became a part of the national conversation.
Despite herculean efforts by many Democrats, Congress has allowed unemployment assistance to expire for 1 million out-of-work Americans, and has thwarted efforts to raise the minimum wage and slashed food stamps. Rather than a war on poverty, it feels like a war on the poor.
The promise of a great public education for all children is under pressure not only from out-of-touch legislators, but from economic and societal factors outside school that make it much more difficult to achieve success within the classroom.
Given that school finance systems are often not designed to provide equitable opportunities for student learning and support, the Community School approach is an effective and efficient way to make the most of existing resources to meet a child's needs.
In the past several years, the efforts of a community organizing group, a dedicated group of teachers, an array of community partners, the students, and the parents converged to demand change in East LA-- and to make it a reality.
As Secretary Arne Duncan travels the country on his Back-to-School bus tour, he has refocused his attention on the community schools strategy as a vehicle for implementing a Broader Bolder Approach to Education.
I recently heard a story that explains why the community schools model -- a reform approach I've been touting for about twenty years now -- is so effective at helping children succeed in the classroom.
Richard Carranza, Jan Christensen and John Porter are just a few of the many bold superintendents who are changing children's lives by bringing together the entire community to help their student succeed.