Community organizing for school reform is a growing national phenomenon, as young people, parents, neighborhood residents, and faith-based institutions struggle to improve the quality and equity of public schooling, particularly in urban school districts. Now a decade old, community organizing projects are influencing local public schools in increasingly visible waysbringing new resources, introducing equity-based policies, and transforming educator conceptions of who they teach and the skills necessary to teach diverse student populations effectively. This article looks at the emerging field of community organizing for school reform in the context of national trends in public education, reviews the characteristics and theoretical underpinnings of the organizing approach, and explores the linkages between research, the teaching profession, and organizing. It identifies three critical questions for educators and researchers, and concludes with a brief discussion of the need for more research on how community-driven reform efforts are helping to improve student learning.
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