1st Edition

The Path to Successful Community School Policy Adoption A Comparative Analysis of District-Level Policy Reform Processes

By Emily Lubin Woods Copyright 2023
    174 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    174 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Drawing on rich case studies of Baltimore City and Boston, this volume identifies policy factors and processes critical to the successful district-wide adoption of community schools.

    By applying the Multiple Streams Model (Kingdon) to comparative analysis of policy determination and the narratives of local stakeholders across a 16-year period, chapters illustrate the role of federal legislation, funding, and buy-in from coalitions, community leaders, and local advocates in ensuring policy adoption in Baltimore City. In contrast, Boston’s more limited reforms are explained in light of local challenges and hindering dynamics. Ultimately, the volume offers key recommendations for stakeholders to drive successful policy uptake in urban school districts.

    Offering a new analysis of policy for community schools, this volume will be of interest to students, scholars, and researchers with an interest in school reform, as well as urban education.

    Introduction 1. Understanding Community Schools: History and Context 2. Theoretical Framework and Methodology for Analyzing Policy Determination Processes 3. A Case Study of Boston’s Unrealized Efforts to Establish Community Schools 4. A Case Study of Baltimore’s Enabling Yet Nuanced Dynamics 5. A Comparative Analysis and Recommendations for Stakeholders/Advocates 6. Community Schools Happen With—Not To—a Community Appendices


    Emily Lubin Woods is Director of Education at the Richard K. Lubin Family Foundation. She previously taught as Adjunct Lecturer in Education at the University of Massachusetts Boston, USA.

    "Emily Woods has written a timely and important book on the development of community schools policy in Baltimore and Boston. Providing a rich ethnographic and historical study, Woods places equity and community participation as central considerations if community schools are to go beyond service provision and make a genuine difference in the lives of children and families. The Path to Successful Community School Policy Adoption should be read by community school practitioners, school district leaders, policymakers, and academics interested in understanding and developing community schools."

    Ira Harkavy, Founding Director of the Netter Center for Community Partnerships, University of Pennsylvania.

    "Community schools mobilize the power of community partners to help eliminate barriers to learning. Central to their mission is addressing the out of school factors that are precursors to academic attainment. This book provides a conceptual framework to assess school-district readiness to adopt policies that can lead to comprehensive school reform. The book is a must read for leaders seeking a community focused approach to what schools can do to meet all stakeholders’ needs--holistically and comprehensively." 

    JoAnne Ferrara, Associate Dean, Manhattanville College

    "Emily Woods offers a vivid and insightful analysis into the complicated dynamics of bringing community schools to life in two cities." 

    Martin Blank, Founding Director Coalition for Community Schools. Institute for Educational Leadership.

    "Community schools is an emerging strategy that has the potential to reduce the multi-faceted inequities that are prevalent in many schools. This book examines the policy process of implementing the community school strategy in two different school districts. This is a must-read book for stakeholders who are committed to the expansion of community schools." 

    Claudia Galindo, Associate Professor of Education Policy, University of Maryland, College Park.

    "Community-based organizations started the movement to create community schools anchored in and responsive to parents and young people in low-income communities of color. They cannot achieve it alone. In this comprehensive and compelling narrative, Emily Woods shows us the vital role of broad-based coalitions partnered with district and city government officials to not only adopt this critically important school reform policy but implement it in widespread and authentic ways. This highly readable book, illuminating the role of context and enabling factors, is indispensable reading for educators and advocates seeking to advance racial equity and social justice in schools and communities."

    Mark Warren, professor of public policy at the University of Massachusetts Boston and author of Willful Defiance: The Movement to Dismantle the School-to-Prison Pipeline.