Community relations refers to the environmental connections and interactions characterizing and influencing the management of local school districts and individual schools. Major topics of inquiry in the community relations literature include matters of parent involvement and parental choice; the impact of local community values, cultures, and politics upon the schools; the quality and scope of communications between communities and their schools; neighborhood and family influences upon school achievement; the comparative advantages and disadvantages of communities in their capacities to support student learning; and strategies employed by school and district personnel in using community relations effectively toward improved school achievement. A significant and ongoing policy debate accompanies the community relations field of study in public education. Amid this debate, some scholars claim that the schools can improve in quality, whatever the circumstances of their community contexts. Other scholars, however, stress that improving the capacities of communities to support learning and developing close relationships between schools and their communities are indeed necessary for quality improvement—the schools cannot do it alone. The citations included in this entry have been selected with an eye toward informing additional inquiry and the consideration of potential policy directions around this important debate.
Article. 9443 words.
Subjects: Education ; Organization and Management of Education ; Philosophy and Theory of Education ; Schools Studies ; Teaching Skills and Techniques
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