This analysis of the Harlem Children’s Zone, a charter school that offers extensive student, parent, and community supports as part of its overall education mission, finds that the program improves student achievement to the point of narrowing the black-white achievement gap by half in reading and closing it completely in mathematics at the middle school level.
Providing the Educational Opportunities that Change Lives
The Coalition for Community Schools, an alliance of national, state, and local organizations, produced this national overview of community schools and their academic and social successes. The paper profiles individual schools and highlights their efforts and results, including after-school tutoring, parent outreach and education, reduced behavior problems, and increases in attendance and graduation rates.
In this report, noted community schools expert Pedro Noguera discusses the pivotal role public schools play in urban communities and their potential to revitalize those communities by providing social services to students and their families. He frames this discussion through the efforts of Lowell Middle School’s efforts to build stronger connections to their community in Oakland, Calif.
This report finds that differences in summer learning (the amount that students learn and retain over vacation) are a significant contributor to the gaps in high school achievement, graduation rates, and college attendance rates between lower-income and higher-income students.
This review of research on summer education programs finds that they can have a significant effect on student achievement, particularly in reading. It also finds that programs targeted at urban, low-income youth are most effective when they include parent education and the community as a whole.
This review of research on after-school tutoring programs demonstrates their effectiveness in improving student achievement, particularly for at-risk youth. It also highlights research showing the beneficial effects on student behavior, self-esteem, and the community as a whole and notes key issues regarding staffing and funding that must be resolved in moving forward.
This summary of studies on after-school programs notes findings surrounding school attendance, student performance, and the impact on at-risk youth. It also specifies the characteristics of after-school programs that are most effective and provides detailed overviews of individual reports.
What does it cost to provide poor children with good schools and supports for their lives outside them? Not as much as you might think.
College Prep Programs
In this series of analyses, Barbara Schneider attempts to identify what kinds of school characteristics lead to higher numbers of students attending postsecondary institutions. She finds that schools can significantly improve college-attendance rates, particularly among minority students, through college-prep programs that, for example, provide students with help for the college admissions process and financial aid applications.
This study, part of a larger analysis of the postsecondary experiences of Chicago Public School students, finds that many students are unprepared for the challenges of applying for postsecondary education. Of all the Chicago students reporting that they hope to attend a four-year college, only 41 percent take the necessary steps to enroll. The numbers are even lower for minority students, indicating that young people need significant assistance to help them achieve their postsecondary goals.
In this chapter from a collection of essays on building school communities, Pedro Noguera asserts that when schools reach out to the parents of their students, the school, its students, and the community as a whole benefit. He argues that urban schools need to be more responsive to the needs and concerns of parents and build a greater sense of trust.
This analysis of the characteristics of first-generation college students (students whose parents did not attain a postsecondary degree) reveals a correlation between these students and key factors linked to academic success, including encouragement from teachers, guidance counselors, the community, and parents.
This analysis of over 50 studies on the impact of parental involvement on student achievement finds that it has a significant effect, particularly in secondary education, indicating that engaging parents is a key component to student success. The effect is equally strong for white and minority children.
An analysis by Columbia University finds that social indicators such as poverty and dropping out of high school can have just as negative an effect on individuals’ health as smoking or obesity. The article brings attention to the numerous health problems and barriers that our nation’s poor encounter on a daily basis.
This issue brief outlines the nutritional crisis affecting America’s youth and its numerous health and economic costs. It also highlights the impact that after-school programs can have on improving student nutrition and provides examples from around the country of successful ways to improve children’s dietary and exercise habits.
This study analyzes the results of a comprehensive mental health program that helps schools identify at-risk students, improve behavior, educate parents, and support mental health education. After three years, the study finds that the program has helped these students succeed and offers recommendations on how to further improve these supports.
This publication demonstrates the link between mental health problems and high school dropouts, as well as the lack of resources in schools and districts for treating such problems in students. It concludes that more mental health supports in schools could help reduce dropout rates and improve student achievement for at-risk youth.