Transforming Schools Through Community Organizing: A Research Review

Lopez, Elena M.

Community organizing engages parents in poor performing schools to improve children's educational outcomes. Although standard parent involvement practices such as monitoring children's homework, reading to them, and volunteering in schools are linked to students' positive academic and behavioral outcomes (Jordan, Orozco, & Averett, 2001), they are oftentimes insufficient to boost the achievement of low-income children in troubled schools. Parents in these failing schools realize that although they are responsible for supporting children's learning, schools are responsible for providing a quality education (Zachary & Olatoye, 2001). Poor school performance, high dropout rates, lack of qualified teachers, and inadequate facilities demand new forms of parent engagement to hold schools accountable. Community organizing offers one strategy to engage parents to effect system change.

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Delivery Area
  • school based
  • whole school change
Outcome Area
  • academic performance
  • civic engagement
  • community change
  • teacher practice
  • school change
Participant Area
  • student
  • educator
  • school
  • community
Age Area
  • elementary (6-11 years old)
  • middle school (12-14 years old)
  • high school (14-18 years old)