The Strengths and Challenges of Community Organizing as an Education Reform Strategy: What the Research Says

Michelle Renee and Sara McAlister

In this report, the Annenberg Institute for School Reform (AISR) examines a growing body of literature on community organizing to understand how this strategy fits into systemic education reform. AISR’s research shows that community organizing for school reform has the potential to create equitable changes, develop innovative education solutions that gather insights from under-served communities, and build the long-term social capital of under-served communities both to support schools and districts and to hold them accountable for improving achievement.

Education organizing – unique in its blend of outside-in and inside-out strategies – is as much about building coalitions with school districts and policy-makers as it is about protesting against them.