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A Match on Dry Grass: Community Organizing for School Reform

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 Grass argues 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 and A Match on Dry Grass explains the principles of this important new movement for educational justice and the steps that make it work.

Synopsis:

The persistent failure of public schooling in low-income communities constitutes one of our nation's most pressing civil rights and social justice issues. Many school reformers recognize that poverty, racism, and a lack of power held by these communities undermine children's education and development, but few know what to do about it.

A Match on Dry Grass argues that community organizing represents a fresh and promising approach to school reform as part of a broader agenda to build power for low-income communities and address the profound social inequalities that affect the education of children. Based on a comprehensive national study, the book presents rich and compelling case studies of prominent organizing efforts in Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, Denver, San Jose, and the Mississippi Delta. The authors show how organizing groups build the participation and leadership of parents and students so they can become powerful actors in school improvement efforts. They also identify promising ways to overcome divisions and create the collaborations between educators and community residents required for deep and sustainable school reform.

Identifying the key processes that create strong connections between schools and communities, Warren, Mapp, and their collaborators show how community organizing builds powerful relationships that lead to the transformational change necessary to advance educational equity and a robust democracy.

Synopsis:

The persistent failure of public schools in low-income neighborhoods, where fully half of black and Latino students fail to graduate with their peers, has vexed educators for decades. A Match on Dry Grass argues that community organizing represents a fresh and promising antidote to educational failure. Based on a comprehensive national study, the book presents rich and compelling case studies of prominent efforts in Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, Denver, San Jose, and the Mississippi Delta. The authors show how organizing groups work to build the participation and leadership of parents and students so they can hold school systems accountable for real improvements. But organizing groups do not just demand change. They also collaborate with educators and other community residents to contribute to efforts to improve schooling. Out of these six case studies, Warren, Mapp, and their collaborators identify the central processes common to dynamic organizing efforts for school reform, outlining how community organizing builds the kinds of relationships that can transform schools and communities.

About the Author

Mark R. Warren is Associate Professor at Harvard University, and author of Fire in the Heart and Dry Bones Rattling.

Karen L. Mapp is Lecturer in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and author of Beyond the Bake Sale.

The Community Organizing and School Reform Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, led by Mark R. Warren and Karen L. Mapp, consists of Keith Catone, Roy Cervantes, Connie K. Chung, Cynthia Gordon, Soo Hong, Ann Ishimaru, Paul Kuttner, Meredith Mira, Thomas Nikundiwe, Soojin Oh, Kenneth Russell, Amanda Taylor, Mara Tieken, Anita Wadhwa, and Helen Westmoreland.

Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction: A New Movement for Equity and Justice in Education

Chapter 1. How Community Organizing Works

Chapter 2. "A Match on Dry Grass": Organizing for Great Schools in San Jose

Chapter 3. "An Appetite for Change": Building Relational Cultures for Educational Reform and Civic Engagement in Los Angeles

Chapter 4. "Our Strength is the Power of Our Community": Political Education and the Continuation of the Struggle in Denver

Chapter 5. "Weaving a Tapestry that won't Unravel": The Transformation of Education in the Mississippi Delta

Chapter 6. "Acts of Leadership": Building Powerful Forms of Parent Participation in Chicago

Chapter 7. "Cement between the Bricks": Building Schools and Communities in New York City

Chapter 8. Building Relationships and Power to Transform Communities and Schools

Conclusion: Lessons for School Reform and Democracy-Building

Appendix A: Collaborative Research Process

Product Details

ISBN:
9780199793587
Author:
Warren, Mark R.
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Author:
Mapp, Karen L.
Author:
null, Karen L.
Author:
null, Mark R.
Subject:
Sociology - General
Subject:
Sociology | Education
Subject:
Education-Conflict Resolution
Publication Date:
20111031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
21 b/w illus.
Pages:
328
Dimensions:
6 x 9.1 x 1 in 0.963 lb

Related Subjects

Education » Conflict Resolution
History and Social Science » Politics » Activism and Peace Studies
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

A Match on Dry Grass: Community Organizing for School Reform New Trade Paper
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Product details 328 pages Oxford University Press, USA - English 9780199793587 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The persistent failure of public schooling in low-income communities constitutes one of our nation's most pressing civil rights and social justice issues. Many school reformers recognize that poverty, racism, and a lack of power held by these communities undermine children's education and development, but few know what to do about it.

A Match on Dry Grass argues that community organizing represents a fresh and promising approach to school reform as part of a broader agenda to build power for low-income communities and address the profound social inequalities that affect the education of children. Based on a comprehensive national study, the book presents rich and compelling case studies of prominent organizing efforts in Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, Denver, San Jose, and the Mississippi Delta. The authors show how organizing groups build the participation and leadership of parents and students so they can become powerful actors in school improvement efforts. They also identify promising ways to overcome divisions and create the collaborations between educators and community residents required for deep and sustainable school reform.

Identifying the key processes that create strong connections between schools and communities, Warren, Mapp, and their collaborators show how community organizing builds powerful relationships that lead to the transformational change necessary to advance educational equity and a robust democracy.

"Synopsis" by , The persistent failure of public schools in low-income neighborhoods, where fully half of black and Latino students fail to graduate with their peers, has vexed educators for decades. A Match on Dry Grass argues that community organizing represents a fresh and promising antidote to educational failure. Based on a comprehensive national study, the book presents rich and compelling case studies of prominent efforts in Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, Denver, San Jose, and the Mississippi Delta. The authors show how organizing groups work to build the participation and leadership of parents and students so they can hold school systems accountable for real improvements. But organizing groups do not just demand change. They also collaborate with educators and other community residents to contribute to efforts to improve schooling. Out of these six case studies, Warren, Mapp, and their collaborators identify the central processes common to dynamic organizing efforts for school reform, outlining how community organizing builds the kinds of relationships that can transform schools and communities.
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