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Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
In this article, Mark R. Warren argues that if urban school reform in the United States is to be successful, it must be linked to the revitalization of the communities around our schools. Warren identifies a growing field of collaboration between public schools and community-based organizations, developing a typology that identifies three different approaches: the service approach (community schools); the development approach (community sponsorship of new charter schools); and the organizing approach (school-community organizing). The author elaborates a conceptual framework using theories of social capital and relational power, presenting case studies to illustrate each type. He also discusses a fourth case to demonstrate the possibilities for linking individual school change to political strategies that address structures of poverty. Warren identifies shared lessons across these approaches, and compares and contrasts the particular strengths and weaknesses of each. Warren concludes with a call for a new approach to urban education reform that links it theoretically and practically to social change in America's cities.