Taylor & Francis
New Article: The Power of Community School Councils in Urban Schools
Read the Peabody Journal of Education article, “The Power of Community School Councils in Urban Schools” by Jim Grim, Monica Medina, Gayle Cosby and Rita Broadnax: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0161956X.2019.1702425
Demand for school reform, particularly urban schools labeled as “failing,” requires a community engagement strategy centered on intermingled social problems: poverty, racial isolation and discrimination, cultural clashes, socio-economic inequalities, and funding disparities. While school administrators are challenged to turn schools around with limited time and resources quickly, their efforts are not a silver bullet. Engaging community requires committed partnerships that support schools to advance quality learning. Community school councils, an organizing strategy, focus on addressing potential threats and enhancing strengths for student success. This case study describes the participatory action structure of community school councils in an urban public high school, a middle school, and three elementary schools. The theoretical framework of the study is based on Bryk’s five essential elements of school improvement and their interplay that predicts school improvement or stagnation in the long term (Bryk et al., 2010) and more recent findings that community schools demonstrate an evidence-based strategy for equitable school improvement. This study is relevant to school communities with comparable demographics interested in a comprehensive strategy that expands the traditional educational mission to address social/emotional and health needs of children and families by engaging the broader community to support student learning, strengthening families and school communities.
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