This handbook is a resource for parents, community members, teachers, and administrators who want to make a difference in their urban schools. Breault and Allen provide a way for stakeholders to see the roles they can play in building civic capacity for change in urban schools and communities. It also offers critical background information to help stakeholders recognize the complexity and necessity of their efforts.
The authors organized this book around the need for beginning, continuing, and enacting conversations to emphasize the need for stakeholders to build relationships with one another in order to advocate for and act on behalf of urban students and communities. While this book eschews prescriptive and simplistic solutions, it does offer ways in which stakeholders create and support an infrastructure for change in their schools and communities. For example, this book helps stakeholders navigate the bureaucracy of urban school districts, build collegial communities of inquiry within schools, develop systematic ways of gathering important data schools and communities, organize the energy and efforts of those who want to get involved, seek out, and utilize various resources, and then use the infrastructure of knowledgeable and collegial stakeholders to bring about change. The authors realize how daunting these challenges may seem for stakeholders who want to make a difference in their schools and communities. In response, they offer images of positive changes including schools, parent associations, and networking strategies used in urban communities today as glimpses of what is possible through hard work, collaboration, and an imaginative spirit.
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