Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Education Secretary Duncan spoke at a conference yesterday designed to support the creation of more “community schools” in the United States.
Typically, community schools are ones that host multiple social services, as well as regular school classes.
A report on community schools was released at the conference.
The Harlem Children’s Zone is the most well-known example of this kind of school in the U.S.
I think community schools can be a great benefit to the local community. I also believe that they can be an even greater benefit if they do two things differently from how they usually operate. One, if they look at parents more as partners instead of clients and, two, if they work more closely with multiple local community groups. I’ve written about this issue in an earlier post.
There may be an effort to create a school like this in Sacramento as part of a nation-wide effort to replicate the Harlem Children’s Zone. I’ve had conversations with some people who are involved, and they seem open to looking at these two issues and making them a priority in what happens locally. It’ll be interesting to see what develops.