Where to Go for More: Resources for Exploring Community Organizing and Small Schools

If you are interested in visiting the schools associated with Oakland’s New Small Autonomous Schools effort, please contact Madeleine Clarke, Director of Development at the Bay Area Coalition for Equitable Schools, 510/208-0160 or madeleine@BAYCES.org and/or Ken Epstein, Public Information Officer at the Oakland Unified School District, 510/879-8582 or kepstein@ousd.k12.ca.us.

Bay Area Coalition for Equitable Schools

Useful even if you’re outside the San Francisco Bay Area, BAYCES is a rewarding starting point in the quest to understand the value of small schools and how districts and community organizations can work together to improve equity outcomes for all students. The BAYCES web site details small schools research, offers numerous strategies for connecting to the Small Schools movement, including its annual Small School Conference, provides links to the Oakland New Small Autonomous Schools 2002 Request for Proposals in English and Spanish, and is the best contact point if you want to learn more specific information about its network of schools, including Oakland’s new small autonomous schools.

web site: www.BAYCES.org
telephone: 510/208-0160
fax: 510/208-1979
mailing address: 1629 Telegraph Avenue, 5th Floor, Oakland, CA 94612

Oakland Community Organizations

Oakland Community Organizations is at the center of community-generated school transformation in Oakland, training neighborhood leaders to organize families, give voice to problems, and work with the city to find solutions. OCO also focuses on community concerns such as health insurance, public safety, and bringing grocery stores and other services to underserved neighborhoods.

web site: www.oaklandcommunity.org
telephone: 510/639-1444
mailing address: Oakland Community Organizations, 7200 Bancroft Avenue, #2, Eastmont Town Center, Oakland CA 94605-2410

Oakland Unified School District

The OUSD website houses the New Small Autonomous Schools District Policy, detailing the agreement among the district, OCO and BAYCES for the foundation of Oakland’s new small schools, and the Request for Proposals for New Small Autonomous Schools, which describes
the process design teams follow to propose new small schools.

web site: www.ousd.k12.ca.us
telephone: 510/879-8582
fax: 510/879-1834
mailing address: 1025 2nd Avenue, Oakland, CA 94606

Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN)

The force behind Oakland’s Woodland Elementary School, ACORN is one of the largest national community organizations, with offices twenty-nine states and over 120,000 member families. ACORN provides detailed information about its accomplishments and community organizing strategy and is a good jumping-off point if you’re interested in active civic engagement. ACORN’s website’s Better Schools section, listed under Campaigns, lists an inspiring set of actions ACORN members have led for improved, more equitable schools.

web site: www.acorn.org
telephone: 877/55ACORN or 718/246-7900
fax: 718/246-7939
mailing address: 88 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217

United States Department of Housing and Urban Development: Become a Community Organizer

This section of HUD’s website is a good introduction to community organizing generally, with links to national community organizations, leads on funding opportunities, examples of grassroots activism for social justice, and suggestions for starting neighborhood organizations. The site is available in English and Spanish.

web site: www.hud.gov/community/orcomm.html
telephone: 202/708-1112
mailing address: 451 7th Street S.W., Washington, DC 20410

California School Redesign Network (CSRN)

Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and associated with Linda Darling-Hammond’s school reform work at Stanford University, the CSRN is a learning collaborative that helps school leaders to develop a broader knowledge base about how small learning communities can be created or redesigned to support excellence and equity. The CSRN offers summer professional development opportunities and its website is an excellent resource, providing comprehensive and clearly presented research on creating small schools, redesigning large schools, budget, scheduling, curriculum and essential conditions for success

web site: www.schoolredesign.net
email: Julie Henderson, julieh@stanford.edu
telephone: 650/724-2932
mailing address: CERAS Building, Room 109-M, 520 Galvez Mall, Stanford, CA 94305

Public Education Network (pen)

PEN is a national association of seventy Local Education Funds, independent, nonprofit, community-based organizations in twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia. LEFs are dedicated to increasing student achievement in public schools, especially among low-income, underserved students, and building support for high quality public education. LEFs coordinate programs in a wide range of areas, and many focus on community-school partnerships,
making PEN’s work a good fit with the pursuit of community-school partnerships. The PEN web site is a fascinating and inspiring look at local initiatives to improve schools and the lives of students, families and teachers.

web site: www.publiceducation.org
email: pen@publiceducation.org
telephone: 202/628-7460
fax: 202/628-1893
mailing address: 601 13th Street, N.W., Suite 900 North, Washington, DC 20005