Author Archives: Jeff Bryant

Community schools were working in Oakland, but the district is shutting them down anyway

The school district was at the forefront of a public education model that is gaining national popularity—but its decision undercuts what the community appreciates about each school’s custom offerings that put students first.

The Oakland, California, school district touts itself as the nation’s first full-service community schools district, committing to a model of school improvement that, according to the model’s most prominent proponents, provides students with “well-rounded educational opportunities” and the “supports” they need to be successful. Community schools attend to the basic needs of the communities they serve, which often entails, according to news reports, such things as access to health and dental care, nutritious food, arts programs, sports and recreation, or after-school activities. But in February 2022, Oakland, despite its commitment to its districtwide reform plan, announced it is shutting down several of its community schools. Continue reading

How community schools are helping a hard-hit city dig out of tough times

Rocked by vanishing industries and charter school expansions, Erie public schools are fighting back with a “transformative” education approach.

Days after the GE Transportation plant in Erie, Pennsylvania, announced a round of crippling layoffs in 2013, an employee was found hanging from a crane in “Building 20,” according to the Erie Times-News. The image of a dead worker dangling from a crane in a dying factory seemed symbolic of a city going ever deeper into the depths of despair. Continue reading