Policy change is most successful when grounded in evidence, including evidence of the needs and capacities of the communities that will implement the changes and, in the case of schools, when it is informed by people with real experience and expertise with public schools and the education system.
Yet, those who design education policy often dismiss educators, especially veteran teachers who disagree with diagnoses of the problems and prescriptions for fixing them, as part of the problem, which sows distrust and hostility and degrades important discussions.
Deserving of Celebration: Public Education Done Right spotlights the benefits to diverse communities across the country from marrying evidence of what works to mitigate poverty’s impacts with input from those closest to the classroom.
Across the country, communities have come together to put forth comprehensive visions for public education that are grounded in evidence of what works and informed by local voices regarding both their needs and assets. These …
This blog by the Coalition for Community Schools, Community Schools and Equity: Changing Systems, highlights the importance of community engagement and school-community dialogue in addressing the intersection of race, poverty, income, class, family circumstance, …
This commentary by the Annenberg Institute for School Reform speaks to the critical ingredient of community engagement for meaningful and sustainable school reform.
In response to the state’s plan, modeled on portfolio and privatization models, to improve its most struggling schools by removing them from local control, the Annenberg Institute for School Reform collaborated with the Southern Education …
In several larger districts, teachers, parents, community organizers, faith leaders and others have responded to reform agendas developed largely without their input with community-based visions that emphasize a broad range of student developmental needs and …
BBA seeks to expand the education policymaking table. Reform is most effective when it is informed by people with real experience and expertise with public schools and the education system. Those who design education policy should not dismiss educators, especially veteran teachers who disagree with diagnoses of the problems and prescriptions for fixing them, as part of the problem. Indeed, the growing disconnect between the individuals who advance policy changes and the educators who must implement them has sown distrust and hostility and is degrading important discussions.
Policy change is most successful when grounded in evidence, including evidence of the needs and capacities of the communities that will implement the changes. A Broader, Bolder Approach to Education thus calls for the voices of parents, students, educators, and school and community leaders to be central in the development and implementation of policies focused on tangible outcomes and authentic evidence of learning. For example, master teachers and veteran principals could build on evidence regarding statistically valid measures to develop systems of teacher accountability that respond to principals’ desire to guide improvement of instruction and teachers’ need for meaningful feedback and ways to improve their practice. Such input would provide essential data missing from current education policy debates. Robust guidance from those closest to classrooms also ensures that local elected school boards reflect and address communities’ needs in shaping policy.
Establishing an even educational playing field so that all children enter kindergarten prepared to learn and thrive requires supports for children, their parents, and their caregivers from birth. And ensuring equal opportunities to learn requires support for children’s physical and mental health. A Broader, Bolder Approach to Education advances enriching experiences with nurturing, knowledgeable adults throughout the day and all year, in order to promote children’s strong cognitive, social, emotional, and behavioral development.
Afterschool and Summer Activities
Schools and educators serving students with higher needs need the resources to do so effectively. A Broader, Bolder Approach to Education advances policies that establish strong standards and curriculum in all schools and ensure sufficient funding for high-needs schools to reach them. BBA promotes supports-based accountability systems focused on improving instruction and strategies to desegregate schools and deconcentrate poverty within them, so that educators and students have a strong context in which to teach and learn.
Holistic, Supports-Based Accountability Systems
Effective, sustainable school improvement efforts merge research-based evidence of effective ways to mitigate the impacts of poverty with community input regarding the district’s unique assets and needs. A Broader, Bolder Approach highlights the need for key community voices – including educators, parents, students, and faith and business leaders – to be at the center of developing and implementing education reforms.
Addressing Race, Segregation, and Concentrated Poverty