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PROJECTS

Neighborhood Strategizing:
Understanding Community Collaborations with California Bay Area Public Schools

May 2017

Abstract

For the better half of a century, education policy has been guided by economics and profit. One after another, every U.S. president since the 1960s has championed legislation that reflects neoliberal ideals of competition and profitable skills. Through the standardization of the public school system, education has become a marketplace rather than an environment for cultivating empowered learners and critical thinkers. The purpose of this field project is to show how communities are challenging the current education system in order to influence education policy in San Francisco, California. I interviewed four participants from two organizations that advocate parents’ rights as well as promoting transparency and accountability at the local level. Based on the experiences of the participants, I created a website intended to serve as a space for community collaboration around education. Specifically, the website highlights the tactics and lessons learned around laying a foundation at both the community and organization level, creating holistic relationships, and navigating social institutions. The hope is that the website will serve as a resource for parents and community organizers to challenge the status quo of education in the United States in order to better include the voices and needs of each community.