Secretary Duncan gives community schools a central place in the Pantheon of education innovations. He made that abundantly clear in his recent appearance on Charlie Rose.
He advocates for keeping schools open 12 or 13 hours a day, 6 or 7 days a week, and 12 months out of the year. He sees schools as centers of learning and community well-being. He calls for stronger partnerships between schools and non-profits. He supports stronger investments in students health, nutrition and safety. He champions a vision of accountability that includes "traditional educators, parents, students, the business community--all of us." And he links these strategies to student learning:
The more we open school buildings to the community, the more we work together--not just with our children but with the families--the more we create an environment where students can maximize their academic potential.
The Secretary sees community schools as a central piece of his agenda to "push innovation, push change"--words some commentators reserve for a much smaller array of reforms that seldom include very much about school/community partnerships.
For a sampling of schools that are already "pushing innovation" in this way, check out our community school success stories.
Hat tip to the Coalition for Community Schools for bringing the Charlie Rose video to our attention.