Closing The Achievement Gap - Banner

 

Government Agencies

“...unless we rethink our investment in public education and specifically target our resources to closing the achievement gap, we'll see a future in California where even those who ‘have' will live with less: fewer services, less safety, a society with constrained growth, and lack of innovation.”

—Jack O'Connell, California Superintendent of Public Instruction

Rationale

Many government agencies have programs, initiatives, and partnership opportunities designed to promote the well-being and academic achievement of children and youths. One example of a government entity that frequently partners with schools is law enforcement, such as the local police, sheriff, or highway patrol.

There are many ways for local law enforcement and schools to partner. Law enforcement agencies and schools may develop and implement interagency collaborations to promote safe schools, improve school attendance, and encourage good citizenship. In school resource officer programs, certified law enforcement officers, educators, parents, and the community partner to offer law-related educational programs in the schools in an effort to reduce crime, drug abuse, violence, and provide a safe school environment. Officers interact on a daily basis with faculty, staff, and students in the casual, nonthreatening school environment. Through these programs, the officers not only enforce laws, but also become counselors, confidants, and friends. The officers may make numerous educational classroom presentations on laws that particularly affect juveniles and may participate in open forums with students.

In return, schools may provide local police officers with work space at the school to work on their reports. Sometimes, local law enforcement will come to a neighborhood school to have lunch and talk with the students. Local law enforcement may use the school campus after hours or during summer breaks to run a variety of training sessions for their officers. One of the most positive aspects of these partnership programs is the establishment of a productive relationship with the students, who will be the community leaders one day.

Resources & Tools

The California Department of Education's Web site has information on and links to many programs and initiatives designed to support all students' health and safety, which is vitally important to academic achievement:

Building Infrastructure for Coordinated School Health: California's Blueprint (PDF)

Getting Results: Developing Safe and Healthy Kids Update 1: Positive Youth Development: Research, Commentary, and Action (PDF)

Improving Collaboration on School Safety Issues

Student Assistance Program (SAP)

Taking Center Stage, Act II: A Portal for Middle School Educators

Web site for Military Children

Cities, Counties and Schools Partnership

The Cities, Counties and Schools Partnership (CCS) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation dedicated to improving the conditions of children, families, and communities at the local level by promoting and encouraging coordination, integration, and increased efficiency of local services and joint facilities use among cities, counties, and schools in all California communities.

This Web site offers suggestions for working with students, parents, community residents, and law enforcement personnel to improve school safety.

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's Model Programs Guide (MPG)

The Model Programs Guide (MPG) is an easy-to-use tool that offers a database of scientifically proven programs that address a range of issues, including substance abuse, mental health, and education programs.

To Get Involved

To get involved, contact your local county health department, county department of social services, county sheriff, police department, probation department, school resource officer, etc.