Student achievement rose, teacher recruitment improved, and college-preparatory curricula were adopted in urban districts where grassroots organizing efforts to reform schools were strong, according to findings from a study by the Annenberg Institute for School Reform.
The report examines those and other positive effects that community-organizing campaigns have had on urban schools in Austin, Texas; Chicago; Los Angeles; Miami; New York City; Oakland, Calif.; and Philadelphia.
Researchers delved into the details of the individual efforts of community-based organizations in each of the seven cities and found common characteristics in all of the organizing campaigns. Among them: solution-oriented approaches to solving an educational challenge, success in creating a groundswell of public support, and leadership training for parents and students. The study, done over six years, builds on a report released last year by the same researchers.
A version of this article appeared in the October 14, 2009 edition of Education Week as Community Organizing