"Will It Be on the Test?" Cited in Washington Post

With several major cities closing large numbers of neighborhood schools as part of their reform efforts, the Washington Post’s education blogger, Valerie Strauss, took a look at recent studies analyzing how much money is actually saved to be reinvested in other, more successful schools. The answer is, Strauss writes, not much. She then shares an insight from the recent KF/Public Agenda report, Will It Be on the Test? When it comes to reform efforts, parents largely want their neighborhood schools to be improved rather than closed. This leads Strauss to offer up a new alternative: turning under-enrolled schools into community schools. Strauss writes that such “community schools” could offer not only additional support for schoolchildren, but also classes for parents and weekend activities that integrate health services and educational opportunities for neighborhood families. The notion of schools as a community asset, rather than simply as the local affiliate of a much larger organization, is very much in line with Kettering’s research on the public and public education, and it’s encouraging to see such ideas sprouting up independently in the national conversation. The comments that follow this story are also worth checking out. Many voice the frustration that the expert solutions policymakers have come up with have not addressed the problem as parents see it, another echo of the research in Will It Be on the Test?