CEJ parent leader Felicia Alexander speaks at a
rally in support of community schools. Picture via CEJ.
New York City organizers have played a tremendous role in shaping Mayor Bill de Blasio's education priorities and agenda, and nowhere have they been more successful than in encouraging the mayor and city officials to adopt "community schools" as a model for school reform.
This type of reform focuses on investing in schools to provide additional wraparound supports to students and the families such as health services, afterschool tutoring, summer enrichment programs and English classes, all of which help mitigate the impact of poverty and ensure kids come to class ready and able to learn.
With the mayor putting millions of dollars into his new community schools initiative, parents with the NYC Coalition for Educational Justice (CEJ) are weighing in with policy guidance for expanding the program.
From Felicia Alexander, a CEJ parent leader:
"CEJ is very excited for this new chapter in the community school movement. We have been advocating for community schools for years and now that we see them coming into fruition, parents and community school partners have worked together to draft a policy that establishes the vision and standards to guide them. We know that to be successful, community schools must be a combination of comprehensive services with rigorous academic curriculum and transformative parent and community engagement. This policy proposal can give the city a firm foundation for the expansion of community schools and will help ensure that for years to come there is clarity to how community schools should be done."
Read the CEJ guidance here.