May 17th is the 59th anniversary of the historic Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision. Decades later, students, parents, teacher and advocates are still fighting against education policies that leave students of color and low-income students deprived of the resources and opportunities they need to succeed. But a grassroots revolution is brewing, what blogger Jeff Bryant has been calling an "education spring," and this past week has seen headline-grabbing victories and inspiring actions.
Thousands of students in Philadelphia are staging a massive, city-wide walkout today to protest the under-resourcing of their schools and school closures. A number of OTL allies are participating in the event, including the Philadelphia Student Union and Youth United for Change, two of the largest student organizing groups in the city. Follow #walkout215 on Twitter for for live updates!
A national grassroots movement of parents, students, teachers and advocates against high-stakes testing and standards is growing, propelled by widespread grievances about inequity, unfairness, and public disempowerment. As the resistance swells, so does the call for sensible policies that support teachers and schools and provide all students with access to key resources and opportunities.
Thanks to the tireless work of local advocates and organizers, officials in the Los Angeles Unified School District voted to put an end to suspensions for "willful defiance" with the adoption of a new school discipline policy that focuses on positive alternatives that keep students in the classroom.
What's the key to building a state-level OTL Campaign in Massachusetts? That question was front and center at a recent organizing event in Boston where groups from across the state gathered to map out the education landscape in the commonwealth, dive deep into several issue areas, and ensure increased collaboration between groups as they all work to improve public education.
Mark your calendars for an exciting, free webinar on Wed. May 22nd at 7:00 p.m. (ET) hosted by the Center for Teaching Quality, OTL Campaign, National Education Association, and the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education.
National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) has tracked preschool enrollment and funding data in the country for over a decade. Its latest annual "State of Preschool" report presents an alarming set of "firsts" in the 2011-2012 school year: Enrollment in state-funded pre-K programs has stagnated after a decade of growth, and average funding per child has decreased below $4,000 for the first time since NIEER began collecting the data.
While the "reform" agenda of Michelle Rhee and her StudentsFirst organization has been thoroughly debunked, a new report from New Yorkers for Great Public Schools takes a look at the ineffectiveness of StudentsFirst as an advocacy group in an education reform landscape that is increasingly disillusioned with high-stakes tests and standards-based reform.
Wisconsin is marching inexorably down a path toward two separate publicly-funded education systems for our K-12 students. One is our traditional public schools; the other is a system of private voucher schools largely funded by taxpayer dollars.
Standards-based reform creates an inherent system of winners and losers by raising the bar and assessing who makes the cut. Supports-based reforms provide and strategically align the needed resources so each student has the opportunity to reach that bar—and surpass it.
Like what you've read?
Then don't miss a thing. Join the thousands of students, parents, educators, and activists who already receive our latest updates and resources!