A Match on Dry Grass Community Organizing as a Catalyst for School Reform

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-10-03
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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The persistent failure of public schools in low-income neighborhoods, where fully half of the black and Latino students fail to graduate with their peers, has vexed educators for decades. Many people now see these problems as structural and tied to a lack of power held by impoverished communities, but few school reformers know what to do about it. Their strategies for improvement remain largely focused within the four walls of the school. To forge better connections between schools and communities,A Match on Dry Grassargues that community organizing represents a fresh approach to address educational failure. Based on a comprehensive national study, the book presents richly detailed case studies of six prominent efforts in Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, Denver, San Jose and the Mississippi Delta to illustrate how organizing groups work to build the participation and leadership of parents and students so they can hold school systems accountable for real improvements. Organizing groups do not just demand change, however, they also collaborate with educators, parents, students, and other residents to take part in the change efforts. Out of the case studies, Warren, Mapp, and their collaborators identify the central processes common to all organizing efforts for school reform to show scholars and educators how community organizing really works and what it means to build meaningful collaborations. Hundreds of such organizing efforts have emerged in recent decades andA Match on Dry Grassexplains the principles of thisimportant new movement for educational justice and the steps that make it work.

Author Biography

Mark R. Warren is Associate Professor of Education at Harvard University. Karen L. Mapp is Lecturer on Educational at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: A New Movement for Equity and Justice in Educationp. 3
How Community Organizing Worksp. 14
"A Match on Dry Grass": Organizing for Great Schools in San Josep. 33
"An Appetite for Change": Building Relational Cultures for Educational Reform and Civic Engagement in Los Angelesp. 66
"Our Strength is the Power of Our Community": Political Education and the Continuation of the Struggle in Denverp. 99
"Weaving a Tapestry That Won't Unravel": The Transformation of Education in the Mississippi Deltap. 134
"Acts of Leadership": Building Powerful Forms of Parent Participation in Chicagop. 168
"Cement between the Bricks": Building Schools and Communities in New York Cityp. 197
Building Power and Relationships to Transform Communities and Schoolsp. 227
Conclusion: Lessons for School Reform and Democracy Buildingp. 249
Appendix: A Collaborative Research Processp. 269
Notesp. 277
Referencesp. 291
p. 303
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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