What Would Education Policy Rooted in Social Justice and Racial Equity Look Like?

The Ford Secondary Education and Racial Justice Collaborative (FSERJC) seeks to engage social justice and education practitioners, many of whom work directly with K-12 students of color, in the public education policymaking process. Drawing from the wisdom and philosophies of these educators, organizers, lawyers, advocates and scholars, the project aims to create more equitable and effective alternatives to current federal, state and local education reform initiatives.

Dismantling Schools – Disrespecting Communities

Mark Simon (Education Policy Analyst, Economic Policy Institute)
Leigh Dingerson (Annenberg Institute for School Reforms, Center for Education Organizing)

The sight of a shuttered school building—its playground gathering litter–is increasingly common.  In school districts across the nation, public schools are being shut down.

In some cases, school closings are inevitable due to declining enrollment or population shifts within a district.  But over the past decade, school closings have been promoted as an educational strategy.  Indeed, federal money specifically intended to support disadvantaged students, is now offered to districts that agree to close schools with poor academic outcomes.  Does this qualify as support for disadvantaged children?

There is no research that links school closings to improved student achievement.  There is research that suggests that student achievement—at least initially—drops when a school is targeted for closure, and that most students who are uprooted by closing a school, and forced into other, nearby schools, fare no better academically.
So why the rush—even the mandate—to close public, community institutions rather than provide them with the supports they need to better serve their students?…continue reading

Profiles of Five Cities

Permanent link to this article: http://www.fserjc.org/