Beyond School Improvement

In addition to the quality of instruction and the school climate, the family and community experience of urban students impacts whether and how much they can benefit from educational services. Consideration of this issue often leads to a call for partnerships—of schools, community institutions, and public agencies—to respond to the diverse, and in some cases extensive, academic and nonacademic needs of students. While the idea of such partnerships is not new, cross-sector and cross-institutional arrangements require more focused attention from policymakers, administrators, and researchers if they are to accomplish what we expect of them. Hosted by Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, this Child and Family Policy Forum addressed why and how partners engage and work with each other, what structures and supports are required for these often complex relationships, and what the opportunities and challenges are in evaluating these efforts.

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