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Education > Middle and High School - Amherst College

Page history last edited by Molly Mead 11 years, 4 months ago

Please complete this page.  See the Sample on the sidebar for help. 

Service  |  Academic Work  |  Education & Training  |  Capacity Building  |  Deliberative Democracy 

Amherst College students are doing applied public policy research with a particular focus on education.  For the last year the college has been part of a  coalition of community residents, leaders and higher education partners in Holyoke, MA developing strategies improve the public schools.  Holyoke, for those of you who don't know, has some of the lowest educational outcomes in the state as measured by graduation rates, dropout rates, and rates of passing the state mandated test (the infamous MCAS).  The coalition has developed a two part strategy (grass roots and grass tops).  The grass roots strategy is to make parents and other community residents aware of the problems in the schools and give them hope that something can be done. There is an upcoming school committee election in the town, search for a new school superintendent and mayoral election.  Amherst students are developing outreach materials that encourage parents to get involved in these elections and to start asking questions of the people who run the schools and their elected officials. Students are also developing materials and strategies to engage the grass tops (think opposite of grass roots) including business owners, elected officials,

school officials and the heads of community based agencies with the same message we are giving at the grass roots: the Holyoke schools are a mess, but something can be done. This summer 3 Amherst College students are working as policy researchers for the community coaltion. They are compiling statistics on the Holyoke schools and they are doing a national scan to identify school in communities like Holyoke that are doing a better job educating their students.

We also have 4 Amherst College students doing policy research in Springfield, MA this summer, working with the Springfield Institute.  The focus there is public education and immigrant rights. 


 Sub-categories in this issue

  • One of the areas of focus for the education research I mentioned above is success with Latino students.  There is a huge gap between academic achievement of the Latino students in Holyoke and the white students.  


Types of Service   short-term  |  ongoing school year  |  summer

  • Students will begin the policy research through summer internships.



Academic Work   courses  |  service-learning  |  CBR and policy research   |  departments and institutes

  • We hope to find several Amherst College faculty who will incorporate the next stages of the research in their courses. 



Education & Training   forums  |  workshops  |  reflection activities




Campus and Organizational Capacity-Building   training  |  fundraising  |  resource development




Research, Policy Analysis, Deliberative Democracy   evaluations  |  policy research  | issue forums  |  advocacy

  • For now contact Molly Mead at mmead@amherst.edu.  By the summer we will add student contacts to this wiki


Contacts   staff  |  faculty  |  students  |  community partners (local, regional, national)



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