Several national civil rights groups released a proposal for educational policy today, along with launching a National Opportunity to Learn Campaign.
Its proposals included a lot of good recommendations related to schools connecting to parents and local communities, including:
In our view, the best approach to school turnaround is to reinvent low-performing schools as
community schools, offering high-quality programs, strong instruction, and wraparound
services. These community-centered schools operate best within Community Opportunity
Education Networks, which leverage local resources to produce sustainable high-quality
learning outcomes for students and parents alike.
We know that good communities create the foundation for great schools. Public schools,
as the only mandatory community institutions, can serve as brokers for success,
connecting students and parents with supports and resources. In transforming public
schools into the hubs of their communities, teachers and principals should play lead roles,
supported by mentors, counselors, and health providers.
You can read more about it in Ed Week’s article, Civil Rights Groups Call for New Federal Education Agenda.
I’m skeptical, though, if they will have much effect. So many groups confuse having “access” to power with actually “having” power and, from what I have seen, the well-intentioned groups sponsoring this effort may very well have fallen in this trap, too.