Our data indicate that organizing is contributing to school level improvements, particularly in the areas of school-community relationships, parent involvement and engagement, sense of school community and trust, teacher collegiality and teacher morale. Key findings include:
- Successful organizing strategies contributed to increased student attendance, improved standardized test score performance, and higher graduation rates and college-going aspirations in several sites.
- Organizing efforts are influencing policy and resource distribution at the system level. Officials, school administrators, and teachers in every site reported that community organizing influenced policy and resource decisions to increase equity and build capacity, particularly in historically low-performing schools.
- Participation in organizing efforts is increasing civic engagement, and knowledge and investment in education issues, among adult and youth community members. Young people reported that their involvement in organizing increased their motivation to succeed in school.
- Organizing groups achieve these schooling and community impacts through a combination of system-level advocacy and school- or community-based activity, as well as the strategic use of research and data. Continuous and consistent parent, youth, and community engagement produced through community organizing both generates and sustains these improvements.
For more detail on these findings, please see: Organized Communities, Stronger Schools: A Preview of Research Findings