During the week of November 20, over 150 parents, student, teacher and community groups from more than 15 cities nationwide participated in the National Week of Action for the Public Schools All Our Children Deserve. Staging school walk-ins, holding rallies and packing school board meetings, organizers across the country pushed for sustainable community schools in their cities.
In this interconnected world all children, and particularly those who stand at the margins, need a diverse teaching force if they are going to be able to be competitive globally. I’m glad to report that a seemingly contentious hearing yielded a true partnership between Boston Public Schools, local community members, researchers, and myself and colleague City Councilor Ayanna Pressley to create and implement an accountability structure that ensures we recruit, support, and, most importantly, retain highly qualified teachers of color.
This week, the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools—a broad coalition of, parents, students, teachers, community and faith-based groups, and labor unions—will be taking action in 15 cities across the country as part of a nationwide week of action to call for sustainable community schools.
Thanks to the hard work of the Urban Youth Collaborative, Make the Road NY and other allies, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law new requirements for the city's department of education to report data on students' access to school counselors.
After years of hard work by local organizers fighting for better school resources, NYC Mayor Bill de Balsio announced the city will dedicate $150 million to equip 94 struggling schools with a broad spectrum of wraparound supports to help them improve.
The best indication of a state's priorities is its budget, and as far as most state budgets go, our nation's priorities lie with prisons rather than schools.
"Accountability" in public education shouldn't mean punishing students, educators and schools. It should mean ensuring equity and opportunity for all. To that end, this is a big week in the fight for quality education for all children:
A new report from GSA Network and Crossroads Collaborative documents the discriminatory impact of harsh school discipline policies on LGBTQ and gender nonconforming students, including disparate discipline from school staff, higher levels of policing and surveillance and being blamed for their own victimization.
Our current federal accountability system unfairly penalizes schools without accounting for their student population, location and institutional resources. It places tremendous burden on schools disproportionately serving low-income students and students of color, leaving them under-resourced and ill-prepared to provide a college and career ready education for those most in need.
In a victory for parents and students fighting mass school closures and charter school expansion, the U.S. Department of Education has opened civil rights investigations in Chicago, Newark and New Orleans after organizers filed federal complaints in May.
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