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Promising Practices and Unfinished Business: Fostering Equity and Excellence for Black and Latino Males

April 1, 2015

Boston Public Schools (BPS) commissioned companion studies as part of its efforts to address achievement gaps for Black and Latino males. The first study revealed the increasing diversity of Black and Latino males and stark opportunity gaps throughout the system that contribute in large part to wide attainment gaps for these students. We hypothesized that in schools doing comparatively better with Black or Latino males than their counterparts, educators would be strategically and comprehensively implementing evidence-based cultural, structural, and instructional practices tailored to meet their the needs and aspirations of these students. Through qualitative case studies of four schools, we identified several cross-cutting themes that provide the district and school leaders with some positive news about effective practices found in all good schools: strong school cultures, professional collaboration, differentiated instruction, and, in the elementary schools, family engagement. While we observed pockets of best practices specific to Black and Latino male education, we also brought to light unfinished business, in that none of the four case study schools had an intentional and comprehensive schoolwide approach to educating Black and Latino males. This lack of intentionality resulted in a paucity of evidence that the school administration and faculty as a whole: (a) know and value students' cultural and linguistic backgrounds; (b) adopt explicit and responsive approaches to race and gender; and (c) develop and implement a comprehensive approach to culturally responsive curriculum and instruction. We posit that lack of knowledge, intentionality, and coherence impedes further progress in educating Black and Latino males, and has implications for educators in schools, for staff members in community partner organizations, and for family members of BPS students.

Opportunity and Equity: Enrollment and Outcomes of Black and Latino Males in Boston Public Schools

November 13, 2014

Boston Public School (BPS) leaders commissioned this study to examine patterns of enrollment, access, engagement, and performance of Black and Latino males from School Year 2009 to School Year 2012. This quantitative analysis constitutes Phase I of a larger study that will ultimately include qualitative case studies examining promising practices in BPS schools in which Black and Latino males perform well.

Family Engagement and Education: A Research Scan and Recommendations

September 17, 2014

In September 2012, The Heinz Endowments asked the Annenberg Institute for School Reform (AISR) at Brown University to conduct a research scan of family engagement, leadership, and organizing work related to education happening in Pittsburgh, as a part of the Endowments' larger work in supporting families as important stakeholders in their children's education. Annenberg's goal was to produce a well-researched scan and analysis of the family engagement and organizing for school reform landscape in Pittsburgh and to provide recommendations for viable funding strategies to support family engagement and organizing capacity building. Research questions for the scan included:1. Given the overall context of school reform efforts in Pittsburgh, what are the opportunities and challenges for influence from community-based parent leadership and organizing?2. What community-based organizations with a current or potential focus on equitable education reform exist in Pittsburgh?3. What is the capacity of each organization to engage in parent/family leadership and organizing work to influence school reform?All of the work completed for this report was done from September 2012 through April 2013. More specifically, data was collected from November 2012 through February 2013. Thus, new developments and changes related to what is reported here that have occurred since the spring of 2013 are not reflected in our data, findings, analysis, or recommendations.What follows is an overview of the methodology and conceptual framework driving the design and analysis of our scan research, a detailed summary of what we learned about the landscape for family engagement and leadership in Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS), a scan of current community-based organizations' (CBOs) work and capacity for supporting family engagement and leadership, and recommendations of potential strategies for cultivating family engagement and education organizing in Pittsburgh.

The Strengths and Challenges of Community Organizing as an Education Reform Strategy: What the Research Says

January 27, 2012

Outlines the advantages of community organizing as a reform strategy, such as its ability to address power relationships and build political will for broad reform; evidence of impact; effective strategies, including working via alliances; and challenges.

VUE: Civic Investment in Public Education Winter 2012, Number 32

November 4, 2011

The Annenberg Institute for School Reform (AISR) at Brown University partnered with Public Education Network to highlight the findings of PEN's National Commission on Civic Investment in Public Education, which met for 18 months and issued its final report in May, 2011. AISR dedicated its Winter 2012 issue of Voices in Urban Education (VUE) to the topic of civic investment in public education. The fifteen members of the National Commission for Civic Investment in Public Education have performed an extraordinary service for this nation and for America's schoolchildren. The Commission's work was ably led by co-chairs Richard W. Riley, former U.S. Secretary of Education (1993 -- 2001) and Linda Darling-Hammond, world-renowned education scholar and professor of education at Stanford University. Other members included leaders from the corporate, philanthropic, and nonprofit sectors; educators; researchers; and public education support organization leaders from around the country. Together they shared a commitment to expand civic knowledge and support of public education through citizen involvement. Contents:The National Commission for Civic Investment in Public Education by Wendy PuriefoyReaffirming the Dream: The Case for Civic Investment by Richard W. Riley and Linda Darling-HammondA Story of Civic Investment in Public Education by Susan V. BerresfordThe Right Funds for Reinvestment by Erwin de LeonA Failure of Philanthropy: American Charity Shortchanges the Poor, and Public Policy is Partly to Blame by Rob Reich

Improving Schools Through Youth Leadership and Community Action

September 30, 2009

Presents a case study of community organizing for school reform by Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition and Sistas and Brothas United: how their campaigns shaped leadership development, district policy, school capacity, and student outcomes.

Keeping Parents and Student Voices at the Forefront of Reform

September 30, 2009

Presents a case study of community organizing for school reform by Eastern Pennsylvania Organizing Project and Youth United for Change: how developing leadership, relationships, and research shaped district policy, school capacity, and student outcomes.

Building a Campaign for Reading Reform in Miami

September 11, 2009

Presents a case study of community organizing for school reform by Miami's People Acting for Community Together: how its campaign for a new literacy program shaped leadership development, district-level policy, school-level capacity, and student outcomes.

Rethinking the Teacher Pipeline for an Urban Public School System

July 31, 2009

Presents a case study of community organizing for school reform by Chicago ACORN: how its coalition of community groups, training programs, teacher unions, and others shaped leadership development, district policy, school capacity, and student outcomes.

Securing a College Prep Curriculum for All Students

July 31, 2009

Presents a case study of community organizing for school reform by Los Angeles' Community Coalition: how its intergenerational campaign for college preparatory classes shaped leadership development, district policy, school capacity, and student outcomes.

Building Partnerships to Reinvent School Culture

May 31, 2009

Presents a case study of community organizing for school reform by Austin Interfaith: how its "alliance schools" network and parent and community engagement shaped leadership development, district-level policy, school-level capacity, and student outcomes.

Building a Districtwide Small Schools Movement

April 30, 2009

Presents a case study of community organizing for school reform by Oakland Community Organizations: how parent and community engagement in a campaign for small schools shaped leadership development, district policy, school capacity, and student outcomes.