Huffington Post / April 19, 2017
As school districts brace for yet another set of battles over the merits and drawbacks of school choice schemes, charter schools, and other forms of privatization, a quiet but persistent reform has been taking place in urban, rural, and suburban school districts across the US, one that has impacted schools from Oakland to Chicago, Cincinnati to New York, and the plains to Appalachia: community-based schooling. The US historically has relied on neighborhood-based enrollments; building off of that tradition, the community-based schooling movement has accentuated the most fundamental aspects of location by connecting schools to community institutions in ways that evade cookie-cutter standardization of schools across districts and states. While Spry Community Links school on the southwest side of Chicago emphasizes collaboration with colleges and universities, the Oyler School, west of downtown Cincinnati, leverages partnerships with multiple social service agencies to decrease drop-outs and increase college participation. Each of these schools has found ways unique to its particular environment to find local solutions to local problems…

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