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FS Policy Recommendations

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Policy Recommendations



The Future of Full-Service Schools








After deep investigation of the various elements of full-service community schools, we pose several policy recommendations: 

  • We advocate the need for vertical alignment of funding streams and policy initiatives and lateral coordination of key agencies and services (at school, district, and state and federal levels) in order to effectively implement full-service school models. 
  • We believe full-service community schools should be a priority for low income areas in an effort to increase accessibility to full services (health, social services, extended learning programs, etc) and equalize opportunities for educational attainment between low-income and higher income students.  
  • We stress the importance of expanding the data and research on the effectiveness of full-service community schools and their outcomes.  Performance indicators are important to incorporate as we assess the efficacy of these programs. 




Alternative Approaches


There are several arguments against various aspects of the full-service community school model that are important to address:

  • Critics argue that full-service schools are a political and monetary distraction to school reform efforts focused on teaching and learning, and schools would best be improved with focus on its instructional core (ie. supporters of the Education Equality movement).  
    • We make the argument that both excellent instruction and outside services are necessary for sustainable public-school solutions on a system-wide level.   By improving the overall health of the community and the child we can effectively address the cumulative factors that influence school readiness and affect a child's ability to learn.   
  • Critics stress the difficulties in coordinating across various agencies. 
    • We acknowledge this concern, and thus stress the crucial importance of a services coordinator positions or agencies at all levels of governance (see Policy and Practice sections). 
  • Critics complain of the excessive time and money a full-service schools approach would take before substantial student achievement gains are seen, stressing the need for immediate solutions that will aid students in schools today. 
    • We argue that in order to produce sustainable change, a long term view is essential.  The time and money required for this model may be substantial but it is not impossible, and will provide more long-term benefit due to a more efficient use of limited money and resources.
  • Critics dislike that the full-service community school model requires large government involvement, seeing this as a push toward central control in a historically decentralized sector. 
    • We acknowledge this concern, however, given the historic trend towards centralized control in education and the grim reality of our current national financial situation is that expedient support of public sector must likely stem from the federal system.




Why Now?


In this unique moment we see significant alignment between key stakeholders, from district level practitioners to federal level leaders, on the specifics of policy in supporting, scaling, and sustaining full-services schools.  Long term- systemic change in schooling is possible; the moment to end the unlovely history of inequity is now.


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To read the complete text of our policy recommendations for full-service schools, click here


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  1. Policy Recommendations image: Retrieved from http://standupforamerica.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/education-cartoon1.jpg

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