Opportunity Rich Schools and Sustainable Communities

The good folks at the Cities and Schools Centre at UC Berkeley have published a report with seven recommendations for alignment between different levels of government and decision makers. I had a chance to hear from them when they were in Edmonton and I think their research is valuable in our journey to strengthen our community schools and the educational opportunities in our neighbourhoods.

I especially appreciate their cross-silo approach. It acknowledges that trustees, MLAs, City Councillors, bureaucrats, non-profits, community leagues– all members and interest groups contribute to the strength and health of our public education system and the success of our students depends on more than just their school trustees. As the saying goes, “it takes a village…”

To Download the report please click here:


Deborah L. McKoy, Jeffrey M. Vincent, and Ariel H. Bierbaum.
In 2010 the What Works Collaborative invited CC&S to examine the ways in which sustainable community planning could work with school leaders to foster positive educational outcomes.

The report illustrates policies and strategies at all levels of government are increasingly associating educational outcomes with community planning and housing. Challenges remain for local officials and practitioners trying to align these policy areas, including persistent spatial inequity and rigid institutional silos. Through the research, we developed seven steps to link education and planning policy at the local level.

We draw from a national scan of model activities, interviews with key experts and agency staff members, and the authors’ experience working with local governing bodies. The report identifies practical solutions that encompass assessing the current educational environment, engaging the community, strategic planning and implementation of investment, and institutionalizing successful innovations.

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