October 28th, 2015

Coalition for Community School Excellence

Community School Supporters Form Advocacy Coalition to Ensure Success of Community Schools Citywide

WHAT: Today is the launch of the Coalition for Community School Excellence, a diverse alliance of more than forty community-based organizations, education organizations and advocacy groups that will collaborate with the Department of Education to impact the success of community schools in New York City. The coalition is launching days before the October 31st deadline for schools’ student rosters, which sets the baseline for student attendance this school year, a key metric for community school progress. To mark the launch, there will be a press tour today of P.S. 188, a community school that provides a rich education and strong supports for a high-needs student population in the Lower East Side.

WHEN: Tuesday, October 27 at 11:00am. Members of the Coalition will be in attendance and available to answer questions from the press.

WHERE:    442 East Houston Street New York, NY 10002

WHY: This is a critical moment for public education. The de Blasio administration has bet big on community schools as a strategy to transform the city’s struggling schools. With 50,000 children and their families in the new community schools throughout New York City, this is the largest community schools effort – and the largest school improvement effort – in the U.S., making this an important test case for the value of community schools. Enormous resources have been invested in the initiative, but the timeline for success is punishing; despite ample research showing that schools need at least 3-5 years to show improvement, many of these new community schools must show gains within one or two years or face being closed or reorganized. These factors present an urgent need for strong advocacy to ensure the highest-quality execution at all levels.

The Coalition’s priorities include:

  • Ensuring that the community schools model in struggling schools is paired with a research-based instructional strategy that is tightly coordinated with student support structures
  • Helping to secure and communicate clear benchmarks and timelines that schools and community partners are accountable for
  • Ensuring an efficient, streamlined support structure for community schools
  • Building public support to sustain and expand community schools, including training and organizing parents and engaging elected officials and community leaders

Together, the Coalition member organizations are working closely with more than half of the schools in the Mayor’s Community Schools Initiative in all five boroughs, as well as dozens of other community schools. COALITION MEMBERS (IN FORMATION): Advocates for Children of NY, Alliance for Quality Education, Annenberg Institute for School Reform, Arab American Association of NY, Brooklyn Movement Center, Center for Family Life, Center for Popular Democracy, Child Center of NY, Children’s Aid Society, Cidadão Global, Citizen Action of NY, Citizens’ Committee for Children, Coalition for Asian American Children and Families, Committee for Hispanic Children and Families, Community Service Society, Counseling in Schools, Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation, Diaspora Community Services, DreamYard Project, El Puente, ExpandED Schools, Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, FHI 360, Good Shepherd Services, Harlem RBI, Harlem Renaissance Education Pipeline C2C, Hispanic Federation, Internationals Network of Public Schools, Make the Road NY, Neighborhood Family Services Coalition, New Settlement Parent Action Committee, NY Communities for Change, NY Immigration Coalition, NYC Coalition for Educational Justice, Partnership with Children, Phipps Neighborhoods, Sheltering Arms NYC, South Asian Youth Action, The Black Institute, United Neighborhood Houses, Urban Arts Partnership, Urban Youth Collaborative, YMCA of Greater New York, Zone 126.