Families & Communities

Strategies for Collective Action

School Holding Power
Strategies for Collective Action

Community Capacity Building

  • Promote parent leadership from urban areas to colonias and rural areas, working directly with school administrators to address attrition in neighborhood public schools.
  • Plan for collaboration and action among neighbors and networks (PTAs/PTOs, associations, clubs, companies, religious organizations) to apply community pressure.
  • Convene platicas communitarias – public community forums on attrition to share information on the issue and mobilize action.
  • Hold public officials accountable for credible rates and equitable policies that support quality education.

Coalition Building

  • Build diverse cross-sector partnerships and coalitions (from local partnerships with schools to local, state and regional networks).
  • Launch a media campaign (radio, television, letters to the editor) that highlights consequences of dropping out and presses for solutions; speak out about the issue at school board and city open forums.
  • Develop shared agendas across coalitions; elevate the issue of dropout/attrition to the top of organizational agendas; set and publicize goals for reform.

Actionable Knowledge

  • Provide quality, accessible data on school system features and student outcomes to support community and school action.
  • Create a common database of accurate dropout data and secure accurate counting at all levels.

Enlightened Public Policy

  • Pass and fund measures that require schools to increase school holding power by at least 10 percent per year.
  • Reform state dropout counting and reporting to produce consistent, credible data.
  • Promote accountability, while eliminating state-level testing policies that penalize students.
  • Address inequities through fair funding, investing in public schooling across the education pipeline (prekindergarten to grade 20).
  • Reduce college tuition costs.

School Capacity Building

  • Strengthen statewide mandate of increased school holding power to reach acceptable, recognized or exemplary ratings.
  • Align teacher preparation and curriculum, building partnerships between high schools and colleges.
  • Focus professional development on training for teacher efficacy, academic success, engaging students of all backgrounds, and building on the asset of student diversity.
  • Establish partnerships with parents and community members to strengthen school holding power, tying parent and community involvement programs to school reform.
  • Reach out to community leaders and neighborhoods around the school, connecting learning to the community.
  • Create student-centered classrooms; give students a say in curriculum.
  • Prepare students for advanced placement coursework.
  • Provide academic counseling from sixth grade.
  • Change district policies that cause dropouts.

See Online Resource Guide

Seven Actions to Fulfill the Promise of Brown and Mendez
This booklet details seven actions community members can take to help fulfill the promise of Brown vs. Board of Education and Mendez vs. Westminster in the education of African American and Latino students. It also includes a step-by-step tool for developing a blueprint for action in a local community. View online or as PDF