Schools, Community

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SCHOOLS, COMMUNITY. Community schools are committed to broad education and are characterized by home, school, and community collaboration to achieve learning. Beginning in the mid-1960s, thousands of small alternative schools sprang up across the United States and Canada. They varied widely in programs and policies, but common factors were a disenchantment with conventional schooling, a desire to reform education, and the belief that schools should be controlled by the population served, including students, parents, teachers, and community members. The National Coalition of Alternative Community Schools was formed in 1976. Community schools include rural schools that serve as community centers, featuring educational and social programs; others are independent neighborhood schools meeting academic, social, and cultural needs of children of African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Latino Americans, Native Americans, and Asian Americans. The New York State Community School Program organized public inner-city schools as sites for the delivery of social services to needy children and their families. Community schools described as "integrative" have sought to bring disabled students into the regular school program. Corporate community schools created partnerships among business executives, educators, and community leaders to establish and operate business-sponsored elementary schools in inner cities. Their goal is to reform urban public education by setting standards and demonstrating instructional methods and school management that can be used across the country.


Leue, Mary, ed. Challenging the Giant: The Best of SKOLE, the Journal of Alternative Education. 4 vols. Ashfield, MA: Down-to-Earth Books, 1992.

Owen, Heleen. "Community Schools and Service Integration in New York." Equity and Choice 6 (1990).

Mary DeaneSorcinelli/a. r.

See alsoDisabled, Education of the ; Education, African American ; Education, Experimental .