Publications & Reports
Access to safe, affordable, and convenient transportation shapes the 'geography of opportunity' for many children and youth. This study looks at how localities across the country are implementing new and innovative alternative approaches to student transportation that expand regional transportation access for K-12 students, improve cost-effectiveness, and leverage inter-agency partnerships beyond the traditional yellow school bus.
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This paper was chosen for Smart Growth Network's compendium, The National Conversation on the Future of Our Communities, in February 2013. The project's aim is to start a conversation on thorny issues the smart growth movement has yet to resolve, issues that have received too little attention, and issues that have escaped us altogether. Our paper argues that planners—and particularly those that favor smart growth—already recognize the importance of workforce development and job creation, but too often fall short of extending their analysis and planning to a key foundation of strong regional economies: effective K-12 schools. We lay out a applied policy framework for remedying this reality.
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Partnering with K-12 Education in Building Healthy, Sustainable, and Competitive Regions: A California Policy Symposium
On December 6, 2012, UC Berkeley's Center for Cities & Schools, in collaboration with the California Department of Education, California Department of Public Health, Governor's Office of Planning and Research, Strategic Growth Council, and Health in All Policies Task Force, brought together leaders from across California to discuss the alignment of important policy agendas: ensuring high-quality, opportunity-rich schools in healthy, sustainable communities. This brief highlights key themes from the conversation and outlines next steps identified by participants.
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This report offers a comprehensive overview of the first six years of the PLUS (Planning and Learning United for Systems Change) Leadership Initiative administered by the Center for Cities & Schools at UC Berkeley (CC&S). PLUS began as a concerted response to the growing recognition among planning and educational practitioners, policy makers and funding agencies that the complex challenges facing students, families and their communities in the Bay Area and across the nation will require a new generation of leaders.
California's K-12 Educational Infrastructure Investments: Leveraging the State's Role for Quality School Facilities in Sustainable Communities
This report takes a comprehensive look at the state of K-12 school facilities in California, focusing on state-level policies and funding patterns. The recommendations lay out a detailed framework that re-envisions the state's role in K-12 infrastructure to appropriately support educational quality and contribute to healthy, sustainable communities goals. Our hope is that this report helps guide state leaders in aligning infrastructure investments for efficiencies and multiple benefits for Californians. The report also includes a message of support for implementation from California State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson.Download Report (PDF)
Jeffrey M. Vincent, Ariel H. Bierbaum, Deborah L. McKoy, and Michael P. Rhodes, Center for Cities & Schoolsand Sam Zimbabwe, Kelley Britt, and Elizabeth Wampler, Reconnecting America
The Center for Transit-Oriented Development (CTOD) and the Center for Cities & Schools (CC&S) at the University of California, Berkeley, today released "TOD 205 - Families and Transit-Oriented Development: Creating Complete Communities for All,” the seventh in the Federal Transit Administration-sponsored series of reports explaining the best practices of transit-oriented development. This guidebook illustrates why planningfor transit-oriented development that serves families is important for creating truly “complete” communities and how such planning can be achieved in conjunction with school stakeholders.
Deborah McKoy and Jeffrey M. Vincent
In this chapter, we describe efforts to connect efforts to improve public education to housing and transportation planning initiatives, particularly through collaborative city-school-regional partnerships. The chapter appears in the 2011 report, "Finding Common Ground: Coordinating Housing and Education Policy to Promote Integration.by the Poverty and Race Research Action Council (PRRAC) and the National Coalition on School Diversity (Philip Tegeler, Editor, pg 53-60).
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Ariel H. Bierbaum, Jeffrey M. Vincent and Deborah L. McKoy
CC&S and ABAG partnered to support and inform local and regional innovation connecting schools to the Bay Area’s regional development and conservation strategy (FOCUS) and the Sustainable Communities Strategy as mandated by California’s climate change legislation, Senate Bill 375. Our new report identifies tangible policy levers at both the regional and municipal levels that realize the co-benefits of pursuing complete communities and high-quality education in tandem. We describe the regional educational landscape and develop recommendations about specific strategies to achieve cross-sector “win-wins.”
Deborah L. McKoy, Jeffrey M. Vincent, and Ariel H. Bierbaum.
In 2010 the What Works Collaborative invited CC&S to examine the ways in which sustainable community planning could work with school leaders to foster positive educational outcomes. The report illustrates policies and strategies at all levels of government are increasingly associating educational outcomes with community planning and housing. Challenges remain for local officials and practitioners trying to align these policy areas, including persistent spatial inequity and rigid institutional silos. Through the research, we developed seven steps to link education and planning policy at the local level. We draw from a national scan of model activities, interviews with key experts and agency staff members, and the authors' experience working with local governing bodies. The report identifies practical solutions that encompass assessing the current educational environment, engaging the community, strategic planning and implementation of investment, and institutionalizing successful innovations.
Deborah L. McKoy, David Stern and Ariel H. Bierbaum
Work-based learning (WBL), an important part of the 1990s “School to Work” movement, is a core component of the Linked Learning strategy which is now shaping efforts to improve secondary education in California and around the nation in cities such as Detroit, New York and Philadelphia. WBL can include not only classic internships and “co-op” placements but also school-based enterprises and other activities in which students produce goods or provide services for other people. However, discussions to date have not fully recognized the particular importance of the civic sector as a site for WBL. The civic sector, including public agencies and nonprofit organizations, is vital to both a strong economy and a healthy democracy. The aim of this paper is to explain the idea of WBL in the civic sector and offer an in-depth look at a model of civic WBL –– the Y-PLAN –– in action.
Deborah L. McKoy, Jeffrey M. Vincent, and Ariel H. Bierbaum.
CC&S contributes a chapter to the book Changing Places: How Communities Will Improve the Health of Boys of Color (edited by Christopher Edley, Jr. and Jorge Ruiz de Velasco; University of California Press 2010). The book draws attention to the urgent need— both economic and moral—to better understand the policy and community- based factors that serve as incentives or barriers to young men and boys of color as they make critical life decisions. Our chapter investigates the ways in which unhealthy environments — and the urban planning and institutional practices that created them — structure disadvantage and undermine the life chances of young men and boys of color. We then describe how innovative city-school initiatives are aligning and leveraging the diverse elements of the built and social environment to create the trajectories of opportunity this group needs and deserves.
CC&S partnered with the California Strategic Growth Council and the California Department of Education to host an invited roundtable, bringing together local and state leaders together to discuss promising strategies for linking public schools to the creation of healthy, sustainable communities. Topics included, integrating schools into regional Sustainable Communities Strategies and local planning activities, school siting and design, and green construction. Participants worked together to identify policy opportunities for improving educational experiences and realizing sustainable communities.
Funded by the Council of Educational Facility Planners International, this study categorizes the types of joint use used by school districts utilize in California. We discern the challenges and lessons in joint use partnerships and make policy, procedural, and research recommendations to better support the joint use of public schools throughout the country.
Transit-oriented development (TOD) projects are often targeted at empty nesters or young professionals, with few options for families. But the interconnections between how and why families choose where to live and how that relates to their perception of access to high quality schools is a complex reality that is highly dependent on local contexts. This article outlines ten core connections between TOD, families and schools, and provides guidance for stakeholders interested in promoting equitable TOD that serves the needs of families.
Many schools offer service learning—community service linked to classroom studies—to help students become more effective participants in a democratic society. Different forms of service learning combine various amounts of discussion and analysis of social issues with engagement in activities that have real impact outside the classroom. What we call "Social Enterprise for Learning," or SEfL, involves students in both thinking about a civic or public issue and doing something about it. In this paper we describe the process we have developed for organizing SEfLs in high schools and how they evolve together with local educational and community partners. We include brief accounts of several SEfLs in San Francisco, to demonstrate how this process can be successfully replicated.
This paper examines the connections between Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) and families, schools, and expanding educational opportunities for all children. This paper is the first of its kind; therefore, we take an exploratory approach to understanding and framing these interconnections. We provide a rationale for the linkages at this nexus, highlight the Ten Core Connections between TOD and public education, highlight five case studies in the Bay Area, and make recommendations for enhancing city-school collaboration in TOD.
This paper adds to the growing conversation about and demand for joint use as a way to provide services to children and families in convenient locations, improve opportunities for physical activity by increasing use of school recreational and outdoor spaces, leverage capital investments, and more, provide a conceptual frame for the joint use of PK-12 public schools. We establish definitions for joint use and frame the basic challenges and opportunities to facilitate better conversations and planning for these type of collaborations.