Home > Uncategorized > A community of color was failed by 30 years of school choice — now teachers push a positive alternative

A community of color was failed by 30 years of school choice — now teachers push a positive alternative

September 3, 2020

“It’s something students are definitely going to want to talk about when they come back to school,” Samantha Garrett told me while schools were closed for the summer in Milwaukee, and the community was grappling with the uncertainty of how the district would reopen amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: A community of color was failed by 30 years of school choice — now teachers push a positive alternative

Jeff Bryant does a good job of illustrating the relationship between community based schools, student voice, the Black Lives Matter movement, and student achievement…. and also emphasizes that 30 years of school choice within a district serving children raised in poverty is no solution whatsoever.

As Glenn Carson, the community school coordinator at Hopkins Lloyd Community School and the lead K-8 community school coordinator at United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County, shared:

“We can’t focus on basic academics when kids come to school hungry or they slept in a car the night before” because they’re homeless…

Refuting the idea that a focus on the whole child distracts from academics, he pointed to the steady progress Hopkins Lloyd has made on the state’s school rating system over the last three years, moving from a rating of “Fails to Meet Expectations,” with a score of 52.1 in 2016-2017, to a rating of “Meets Few Expectations,” with a score of 61 in 2018-2019, just two points shy of the “Meets Expectations” level.

“These results aren’t just about having more resources and additional staff,” he argued. “It’s also about having the mindset to address other issues [outside of school that affect student learning].”

“The community schools model has opened my eyes to education as a transformational model,” Carson told me, “in my case, moving from a school that’s struggling to one that’s doing better. The model is an alternative to closing schools, and instead rehabilitating struggling schools.”

And how would a district pay for Community Schools? In Milwaukee’s case it was relatively easy: use the funds for school-based police to contract with agencies like the United Way to bring a community school coordinator on board.

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