Fair and Just School Resources

Why this Renowned Educator is Voting "No" on Question 2

In this Boston Globe op-ed, award-winning educator and author Jonathan Kozol makes a comprehensive case for why Question 2 is the wrong direction for our commonwealth's schools. We need a fairer, more equitable, and better-funded public education system in Massachusetts that works for all our children: Question 2 would push us away from that urgent goal.

Kozol joins countless local elected officials, school boards, parents, and community groups who have declared their opposition to Question 2, including Schott Foundation’s President & CEO Dr. John H. Jackson. Dr. Jackson recently co-wrote an open letter with Josie Greene, a Director of the Josephine & Louise Crane Foundation, detailing how Question 2 would divert funds from public schools, erode local accountability, and take us further away from the educational quality, equity, and opportunity all our communities deserve.

In this Boston Globe op-ed, award-winning educator and author Jonathan Kozol makes a comprehensive case for why Question 2 is the wrong direction for our commonwealth's schools. We need a fairer, more equitable, and better-funded public education system in Massachusetts that works for all our children: Question 2 would push us away from that urgent goal.

Video: Dispelling False Narratives about Charters and Public Education

Schott President & CEO Dr. John H. Jackson spoke at a recent forum at Howard University on public education & charter schools, hosted and moderated by Roland Martin.

Schott President & CEO Dr. John H. Jackson spoke at a recent forum at Howard University on public education & charter schools, hosted and moderated by Roland Martin:

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A Question of Better Education for All

Question 2, which will appear on Massachusetts voters’ ballots on Nov. 8, claims that it will increase educational choice and improve educational standards across the state. In fact, it would do the opposite.

For the past decade, Massachusetts has led the nation in academic achievement. Our students have even been top ranked internationally in a time when the country’s educational outcomes have slid year by year. Massachusetts accomplished this by taking bold steps that impact all students, most importantly changing the state’s school funding system to invest more in schools in high need, low-income areas so that all students have a better opportunity to achieve. There is still critical work to be done to close persistent opportunity gaps in the system, but we won’t get there if we go in completely the wrong direction. This would be to allow state officials to give up on investing in improving a system that serves all students in need.

classroom with students

Dear Education Advocates,

Question 2, which will appear on Massachusetts voters’ ballots on Nov. 8, claims that it will increase educational choice and improve educational standards across the state. In fact, it would do the opposite.

NY Advocates Walk 150 Miles for Equity

In 2003, parents and advocates marched 150 miles from New York City to Albany to herald a court case that claimed New York State was failing to provide quality education to public school students. The court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, and the state committed to allocating $5.5 billion distributed throughout the state’s public school districts. This is when the story should have ended, but it didn’t.

$3.9 billion is still owed to New York State public schools. And that is why this October – ten years after that first court hearing – parents and advocates have made the same walk again. Another 150 miles from New York City to the steps of the New York State Court of Appeals in Albany, fighting for educational funding long overdue.

In 2003, parents and advocates marched 150 miles from New York City to Albany to herald a court case that claimed New York State was failing to provide quality education to public school students. The court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, and the state committed to allocating $5.5 billion distributed throughout the state’s public school districts. This is when the story should have ended, but it didn’t.

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Webinar: Protecting an Opportunity to Learn Through ESSA State Accountability Plans

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed by President Obama on December 10, 2015, reauthorizing President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. The previous version of the law, the No Child Left Behind Act, enacted by President Bush in 2002, sparked controversy regarding federal overreach, high-stakes testing and harsh accountability measures, but also provided disaggregated information regarding student achievement by demographics such as race, gender, and English language proficiency. According to ed.gov, the goal with ESSA was to “create a better law that focused on the clear goal of fully preparing all students for success in college and careers.” The law first and foremost provides states with more latitude when it comes to education policy. On October 5, 2016, the Schott Foundation was joined by Topeka Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Tiffany Anderson and California State Board of Education President Dr. Michael Kirst for a webinar, “Protecting an Opportunity to Learn Through ESSA State Accountability Plans,” to discuss how schools can use ESSA as a tool to improve public education.  

They're walking 150 miles to save their public schools. Here's how you can help

Why are advocates walking from New York City to Albany?

In 2006, New York State’s highest court ruled on the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) school funding lawsuit. The CFE lawsuit was brought by parents against the State of New York claiming that children were not being provided an opportunity to receive an adequate education.

The Schott Foundation was among the first to fund the Campaign for Fiscal Equity in the mid-1990s which sparked a movement — and a victory. In 2006 the Court of Appeals ruled in CFE’s favor and found that New York State had violated students' constitutional right to a “sound and basic education” by depriving schools of needed funding. The Court ordered the NY Legislature to distribute $5.5 billion in basic operating aid (also known as Foundation Aid) to schools statewide over a four-year period, from 2007 to 2011.

Yet — ten years later — New York still owes its children $3.9 billion in Foundation Aid, most of which is owed to districts with high percentages of students of color. The state has only allocated $2.3 billion in Foundation Aid to schools thus far due to funding freezes during the fiscal crisis and further cuts to school aid.

CFE advocates need your support!
Education advocates are walking from NYC to Albany and need your help!
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Community Schools — and the organizing it will take to build them

Netroots Nation [link] is 10 years old, and over the past decade has become a preeminent gathering point for people at the intersections of progressive politics, social change, and technology. As such, it’s been interesting to watch various aspects of the conference shift — from keynote speakers, to panel topics, to vendors — as the larger progressive movement has shifted.

Nowhere is that more stark than education. Writers like Jeff Bryant point out how for many years, education wasn’t even on the radar of many progressive activists and organizations — and when it was, they would usually gravitate to the well-funded outreach of corporate reform outfits like Students First and Stand for Children.

Netroots Nation is 10 years old, and over the past decade has become a preeminent gathering point for people at the intersections of progressive politics, social change, and technology. As such, it’s been interesting to watch various aspects of the conference shift — from keynote speakers, to panel topics, to vendors — as the larger progressive movement has shifted.

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Webinar: Strategies for Lifting All Children Up

What will it take to ensure that all children have an opportunity to learn, regardless of their background or which school they attend? This is the question we discussed during our latest webinar, “Strategies for Lifting All Children Up," part of Schott Foundation’s Grassroots Education Series on July 28.

During the webinar, Executive Director Kevin Welner of the National Education Policy Center and Executive Director Taryn Ishida of Californians for Justice discussed the importance of systemic reforms, not just school-centric reforms, when working to close the opportunity gap — and both are urgently needed.

What will it take to ensure that all children have an opportunity to learn, regardless of their background or which school they attend? This is the question we discussed during our latest webinar, “Strategies for Lifting All Children Up," part of Schott Foundation’s Grassroots Education Series on July 28.

Parent Power: Community Organizing as a Parent Engagement Strategy

Edgar Villanueva, Vice President of Programs & Advocacy

Parent engagement can take on many forms within schools. Helping a child with homework, attending after school activities, cooking for a bake sale, and volunteering in the school’s office all fall under our general understanding of typical expectations for parent involvement in schools.Parent engagement, however, is often not defined by parents, which sometimes leads to negative narratives about a “lack of engagement” of parents of color or low-income parents. Parents and communities are critical to catalyzing and sustaining improvement in schools, but one of the biggest challenges can be finding ways to engage and support the powerful involvement of parents.

Parent engagement can take on many forms within schools. Helping a child with homework, attending after school activities, cooking for a bake sale, and volunteering in the school’s office all fall under our general understanding of typical expectations for parent involvement in schools.Parent engagement, however, is often not defined by parents, which sometimes leads to negative narratives about a “lack of engagement” of parents of color or low-income parents.

New Infographics: Shining a Spotlight on Black Girls

Schott is pleased to release our latest series of infographics, this time focusing on the barriers facing Black girls in our public schools. Only through using both a race and gender lens can we see — and fix — the unique systemic problems that Black girls must deal with on a daily basis.

Schott is pleased to release our latest series of infographics, this time focusing on the barriers facing Black girls in our public schools. Only through using both a race and gender lens can we see — and fix — the unique systemic problems that Black girls must deal with on a daily basis.

Unfair discipline practices. Disinvestment from curriculum. Lack of supports for girls who face familial responsibilities. High rates of exposure to sexual harassment and violence. Lack of resources for counseling and addressing trauma.

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