PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Some things make schools better—longer days, extended school years, good teachers and high expectations among them. A report from the Annenberg Institute for School Reform looks at community organizing as a means of systemic education reform.

Many innovative reforms fail because of lack of trust, understanding, or cultural relevance to the community and the high turnover of reformers– superintendents, principals, or outside organizations in high-need schools and districts. Reforms also fail because they don’t address the extreme inequities in resources between poor communities and their luckier counterparts.

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Community organizing for school reform has the potential to create equitable changes, develop innovative solutions that reflect the knowledge of underserved communities, and build the long-term social capital of those communities to support schools and districts and hold them accountable for improving achievement as well.

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The executive summary cites networks at the city, regional, and national levels, and a directory of community organizations involved in New England education reform.

Visit www.annenberginstiute.org.

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Reported By Dr. Marciene Mattleman, KYW Newsradio