Tagged “Coalition For Community Schools”

ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Mayor Bill De Blasio Focuses on Community Schools in New York City

Post written by Martin J. Blank, Director and President, Coalition for Community Schools at the Institute for Educational Leadership; and Shama S. Jamal, National Policy Emerson Fellow, Coalition for Community Schools

Community schools are high on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's education agenda; an agenda that he made a commitment to during his campaign and is now taking action on.

De Blasio's recent appointment of Richard Buery as the deputy mayor for strategic policy initiatives strengthens his vision and plan to implement 100 more community schools in the city. Buery's expertise and former work as chief executive officer at the Children's Aid Society will provide the foundation for a strategic expansion of community schools across the city. Children's Aid Society is a national model for implementing community schools in New York City and houses the National Center for Community Schools. It is a founding partner of the Coalition for Community Schools.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Community School Collaborations: A Lifeline for Early Learning Program Success

Post written by Janet Brown, Senior Early Childhood Program Specialist, and Kwesi Rollins, Director of Leadership Programs at the Institute for Educational Leadership

In Lifelines for Poor Children, economist and Nobel laureate James Heckman argues that quality early learning programs represent our best national education investment, due to evidence of societal benefits from longitudinal studies of Perry Preschool and Abecedarian early childhood programs.  

The Perry Preschool Project and Abecedarian programs worked extensively with families in their home and community contexts. Successes from such early learning and family support efforts suggest that cross-sector community collaborations, such as those in community schools, are ideal contexts for scaling up early childhood programming for low-income children and families. Such schools share program approaches with Perry Preschool and Abecedarian, including home visits and follow-up supports for children and families in their communities.

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Kristen Pekarek

What Does the Mediterranean Diet Tell Us About School Reform?

In an article on the Washington Post's Answer Sheet blog, author Martin Blank shares his belief that diet research shows us how education reform needs to be more broadly focused. "A Mediterranean diet, like educating our children," he says, "is like a black box in which a number of ingredients—together—are needed to achieve the desired outcomes."

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Student Voice: How a Community School Became an Oasis in South Central Los Angeles

Post written by Martin J. Blank and Ryan Fox, Coalition for Community Schools

Kevin Valiencia

Walking through the halls of John C. Fremont High School in South Central Los Angeles with senior Kevin Valiencia, one finds an unexpected inner city public school in one of the most maligned neighborhoods in the country.

A climate of cooperation, enthusiasm, unity, and endless possibilities permeate throughout school. A strong juxtaposition with the surrounding community in which neighborhoods blocks apart from each other are often at war. Kevin himself has seen a friend stabbed, drive-by shootings, and police raids near his home.

It's not that the troubles found in other schools don't exist inside Fremont. Less than 40 percent of its students graduate in four years and test scores still lag behind state averages. But the angst and conflict found in many other struggling urban schools is minimal at Fremont. The suspension rate at Fremont is far below the rates at other high schools in the district. While the dropout rate is still very high, those numbers are gradually improving. Nearly 85 percent of those that did graduate in 2009 and 2010 continued on to a postsecondary education.

"There's unity (at Fremont)," Kevin said. "We're all in this together."

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