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Study on Education Organizing and Academic Improvement

American Institute for Social Justice

  • Program Education
  • Program Area Success Beyond High School
  • Grant Amount $200,000
  • Grant Period January 1, 2005–December 31, 2006
  • Location Washington, DC, United States
  • Geographic Focus Chicago

About this grant

Since mid-2001, the American Institute for Social Justice has been working with the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) in Chicago to organize parents, students and community members to improve the failing schools in three Chicago neighborhoods. The goal of the project is to hold decisionmakers accountable at the school and district levels, and to give parents, teachers, school employees and community members a stake in the schools and a reason to support and participate in them.Multiyear funding will enable the institute to continue data collection and research; train parent leaders; maintain and inform the community about local school councils; promote the "Grow Your Own Teacher" initiative; and participate in state and national policy discussions. In addition, Chicago ACORN will continue to participate in the Mott-sponsored study of community-driven reform.During the past two years, Chicago ACORN conducted data collection and research on schools, and published a study on teacher retention; worked with the Chicago Public Schools research department to improve public distribution of information; monitored the spending of new No Child Left Behind funds; sponsored workshops to educate parents about No Child Left Behind; and organized a series of meetings with principals to help orient new teachers to the local community.