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Jul 6, 2016 by Jennifer Berkshire

What is the Relationship Between Schools and Neighborhoods?

As we move towards a market-based system in public education, the argument has been that the goal is either to get the students out of their bad neighborhoods, or that the neighborhood doesn't matter if you can just get the student into a quality school.

As any sociologist will tell you, these things don't happen in isolation. Students live in neighborhoods, and the school is one of the most important institutions, along with the family and the other institutions that bind the community together. 

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Topics: What is school for?, neighborhoods, Charter Schools

Jun 21, 2016 by Jennifer Berkshire

What Should the Relationship Be Between Charter Schools and District Schools?

In the original vision for charter schools, the idea was that charter schools would basically function as Petri dishes, developing new knowledge or practices, which could then be adopted by traditional public schools.  

However, it's harder and harder to find examples where that's what's happening. What you see more and more of is an expanding charter sector that competes with the district for students and resources. That original vision, where charters would be a laboratory of innovation and then export their best practices back to the district, isn’t what's happened. Instead you have a competitive, often strained relationship. 

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Topics: Charter Schools

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