U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and former British prime minister Tony Blair discuss community schools at the Center for American Progress.
The U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan wants more schools to function as community centers to provide a variety of services for families, similar to a model common in England. "Community Schools" have extended hours throughout the year, they offer health services and also programs for parents such as GED classes.
While Duncan was the head of Chicago Public Schools, approximately a quarter of schools there became community schools. He says even though this wasn't something imposed on educators, there was intial reluctance. "Your buildings are open longer hours. Who pays for what? Who's in control of what? Letting go that's not something these educators do easily. But I would tell you because the results were so dramatic, principals talking to principals, created a huge amount of demand," said Duncan.
Tony Blair, former British prime minister says by 2010 all schools there will be community schools."It's a very, very important part of making education about the whole person and about the whole community. And the lesson we learned is that it definitely works and is important to do."
Carlin Springs Elementary School in Arlington, Virginia and several schools in the Baltimore area are already "community schools."
Kavitha Cardoza reports...