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NEPC’s December Education Interview of the Month Podcast Explores Community Schools

BOULDER, CO (December 19, 2017) – In this month’s NEPC Education Interview of the Month, Lewis and Clark College Emeritus Professor of Education Gregory A. Smith explores the characteristics, history, and benefits of community schools with UCLA Professor Emeritus Jeannie Oakes, author of the policy brief Community Schools: An Evidence-Based Strategy for Equitable School Improvement and the research report, Community Schools as an Effective School Improvement Strategy: A Review of the Evidence.

Join Smith and Oakes as they discuss the four main practices of high-quality community schools:

  1. Integrated student support, with connections on and off campus to make sure students get the extra support they need
  2. Expanded learning time and opportunity, such as longer school days, Saturday programs, and after-school programs
  3. Engagement of families and communities in meaningful and diverse ways
  4. Collaboration in how they are run and practices that take place in schools, e.g., teacher learning communities

Professor Oakes’s review of the literature found that practices well supported by the evidence as having positive effects on student outcomes are the very practices that high-quality community schools employ. These practices are especially important and impactful in under-served communities lacking other enrichment opportunities.

According to Oakes, “The evidence base really does justify the use of community schools…both for helping kids succeed academically, and helping them prepare for full and productive lives. States and districts should consider it a promising, evidence-based strategy for using federal ESSA funding for improving their lowest-performing schools.”

A new NEPC Education Interview of the Month, hosted by Gregory A. Smith, will be released each month from September through May.

Don’t worry if you miss a month. All NEPC Education Interview of the Month podcasts are archived on the NEPC website and can be found here.

Coming Next Month

In January, Greg’s guests will be Linda Kelley and Adam York of the University of Colorado Boulder, leaders of the Schools of Opportunity project, which recognizes high schools that have instituted changes in curriculum and climate capable of drawing young people, often marginalized in conventional classrooms, into a sense of school membership and engagement.

Stay tuned in to NEPC for smart, engaging conversations about education policy.

The National Education Policy Center (NEPC), a university research center housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education, produces and disseminates high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. Visit us at: