Austin Interfaith: Building Partnerships to Reinvent School Culture
This report shares findings from a six-year research study on the impact of Austin Interfaith’s education organizing on East Austin schools. Austin Interfaith, part of the Industrial Areas Foundation organizing network, organized high-poverty, low-performing schools on the city’s east side into a network of “Alliance Schools,” which grew to about a quarter of the district’s elementary schools and half of its high-poverty schools. Austin Interfaith provided leadership training to parents, teachers, and administrators and supported them in implementing reforms to improve student learning. Its organizers also won additional resources for these schools through organizing at the district and state levels.
This report shares findings from a six-year research study on the impact of Austin Interfaith’s education organizing on East Austin schools. The study found that this work resulted in:
- new funding, staff, and programs for historically underserved schools
- improved relationships, communication, and sense of shared vision among parents, teachers, and administrators
- improved student performance on state-mandated standardized tests
NOTE: The Annenberg Institute, with funding from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, conducted a six-year research study and developed a series of seven case studies based on our research. Each case documents the organizing efforts of a community group in a site and its effect on resource equity and district accountability for improved educational outcomes. Sites include Austin Interfaith, Chicago ACORN,Community Coalition (Los Angeles), Eastern Pennsylvania Organizing Project and Youth United for Change, Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition & Sistas and Brothas United, Oakland Community Organizations, and People Acting for Community Together (Miami).