Comprehensive Strategies

Rich-poor and white-minority achievement gaps are largely attributable to factors outside of school walls. So if schools are to substantially narrow these gaps, education policy must incorporate health and nutrition supports and after-school enrichment to address barriers to learning that are driven by child poverty.  Read the BBA Mission Statement to learn more.

Broader, Bolder Communities

Across the country, communities have adopted a range of comprehensive strategies to improving all children’s educational opportunities and attainment. These different approaches tailored to various needs all produce community-wide benefits. View the complete list of Broader, Bolder Communities.

  • New York, NY

    Children's Aid Society Community Schools

    Then  Schools were isolated from the community, and unmet student needs were overwhelming teachers and other school staff.

    Now  School curriculum is integrated with out-of-school time programming and with support services for students and their families. Teacher attendance and satisfaction, student success, and parent engagement all improved.

    Learn more about Children's Aid Society Community Schools

  • Boston, MA

    City Connects

    Then There was no systematic way to connect urban schoolchildren with the rich resources of the city’s
    community partners, or for schools to efficiently address the out-of-school factors impacting students.

    Now Student support in school has been revitalized, ensuring that a uniquely tailored plan of enrichment and supports is designed to meet each student’s individual strengths and needs.

    Learn more about City Connects

  • Douglas and Sarpy County, NE

    Building Bright Futures

    Then 18,000 young children in Douglas and Sarpy Counties live in low-income families, 42% of children lack a regular health care provider, and more than 5,000 students are absent from school in the greater Omaha area on a given day.

    Now Community collaboration and new partnerships address early childhood, health, academic support and engagement needs, reaching out to students in Douglas and Sarpy Counties who are not ready to enter kindergarten or are at high risk of school failure or drop-out,  

    Learn more about Building Bright Futures

  • Tangelo Park, FL

    Tangelo Park Program

    Then “17 years ago, Tangelo Park was one of the most crime-ridden neighborhoods in Orlando. Some people referred to it as the ‘wild, wild west,’ with drug dealers ruling the streets.”

    Now There has been a 50% reduction in crime from 1993, when the program began, to 2009.

    Learn more about Tangelo Park Program

  • Cincinnati, OH

    Community Learning Centers (CLCS)

    Then Enrollment declined from 90,000 in 1970 to 45,000 in 1999, while the student body went from 70% middle class and above to 70% poverty during that time. By 2001, the graduation rate was just 52%.

    Now Enrollment declines have been reversed, with nearly 6,000 more students than projected.

    Learn more about Community Learning Centers (CLCS)

  • Humble, TX

    Quest Early College High School

    Then  Schools in a rapidly growing suburb north of Houston faced discipline challenges due to increasing student disengagement.

    Now  “Our purpose, in partnership with families and community, is to develop each child intellectually, artistically, emotionally, physically, and socially so that all students are life-long learners, complex thinkers, responsible global citizens and effective communicators, and is reflected in policies and practices throughout the district.”

    Learn more about Quest Early College High School

Broader, Bolder Policies

Common Core Standards for Learning Supports

As states move to implement the Common Core Standards, they should address the home and community experiences that impede effective learning and teaching for many students. Supports built into the Standards, including social and emotional learning, can narrow achievement gaps and support effective, whole-child learning for all students. See the UCLA Center for Mental Health in Schools proposal, endorsed by BBA.

Promise Neighborhoods

Recognizing the critical importance of a comprehensive approach to improving schools in troubled communities, the Department of Education has allocated funds to establish “Promise Neighborhoods.” In Newark, New Jersey, BBA co-chair Pedro Noguera is working to build such a BBA model, the Newark Global Village School Zone.  The UCLA Center for Mental Health in Schools offers a guide to "pursuing promise neighborhoods; with or without a grant."

Community schools

Across the country, school districts are adopting a strategy that brings a range of community services into schools, establishing them as hubs of their communities and making a variety of needed services available to students and their families.

Health clinics

Accessible preventive and basic physical, mental, and dental health is critical for at-risk students to learn effectively. The NASBHC works with schools across the country to establish in-school clinics to remove barriers to education.

Afterschool programs

Research shows that low-income students lose much of what they gain in class after the school day and over the summer. Enriching educational, recreational, and mentoring programs, such as those offered through afterschool programs, enhance learning and help narrow the achievement gap.

Components of a Broader, Bolder Approach

Comprehensive strategies require time to build. Here are a set of evidence-based components, from early childhood and parenting supports to after-school and summer enrichment programs, to draw on as models for starting points. 

Read the Executive Summary of the Component Programs

Other Docs/Resources

Share the BBA Principles

Narrowing the achievement gap requires us to attack poverty, not schools. Decades of research affirm James Coleman’s findings that family and community factors are major drivers of achievement gaps. We need a Broader, Bolder Approach to Education!

Effective Common Core Standards Must Support the Whole Child, and all Children. A narrow focus on some parts of the curriculum, to the exclusion of social and emotional learning, and without supports to enable all children to benefit, will only widen existing gaps. We need a Broader, Bolder Approach to Education!

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Broader, BOLDER Approach to Education

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