Fair and Just School Climate

Students Rally in DC for Positive Discipline Policies

A national coalition of students of color and allies from around the country will hold a rally on the U.S. Capitol Grounds today to call on Congress to reject school safety policies that promote an increase in police, school resource officers (SRO’s) and armed guards in our nations’ public schools. They urge policymakers to instead focus on proven positive measures like positive behavior intervention and supports, social and emotional learning, restorative justice, and the hiring and training of counselors, social workers, and community intervention workers.

The following press release is from the Dignity in Schools Campaign, an OTL ally and partner in the Solutions Not Suspenions initiative. 

State: 

Racial Justice Webinar Recap, Resources and Video!

Thanks to all those who joined us for an exciting webinar this week with Terry Keleher and Jermaine Toney from the Applied Research Center! Here's a quick recap of what we discussed, tools for you to use in your advocacy and organizing work, and a video of the webinar to share!

Terry Keleher (right)
and Jermaine Toney (left)
State: 

NY Allies Convene in Albany for Opportunity to Learn Policy Conference

OTL allies from across New York convened in Albany last week for a conference on educational opportunity. "Averting Educational Crisis: Successful Strategies for NY," focused how to implement policies that would expand opportunity, increase access to high quality early childhood education, and reform school discipline to keep students in the classroom rather than barring them from school.

NY OTL Conference Banner

NY Allies Convene in Albany for OTL Policy Conference
Solutions Not Suspensions, Fair Funding and Early Education

A Bold Call for Equity – Will Policymakers Answer?

Congress’ Equity and Excellence Commission released a powerful report that decries our nation's lack of commitment to equity in education for all students. "For Each and Every Child: A Strategy for Education Equity and Excellence" is a seminal report and a nationwide call to action. But will policymakers act?

OTL Campaign Applauds Commissioners' Bold Call for Equity
Issues Challenge to Policymakers:
Are You Serious about Equity for Kids or Are You Just Kidding?

State: 

Keeping Kids in Class: Fixing Racial Disparities in School Discipline

Publication Date: 
Thu, 2013-02-14
Author: 
Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families
Type: 
reports
Category: 
equitable-instructional-materials
Black students in Arkansas schools are more likely to be suspended and receive corporal punishment than their white counterparts, according to this new state-level analysis from Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (AACF). School disciplinary policies that disproportionately keep students of color out of school reduce their opportunities to learn and increase gaps in educational achievement. This report is evidence that Arkansas schools rely far too often on disciplinary approaches that bar students from the classroom.

Don't Get Tough With School Discipline, Get Smart

"Get tough" school discipline policies aren't doing anything to make our schools safer. In fact, they're creating a school-to-prison pipeline and exacerbating the school pushout crisis that is drastically curtailing access to educational opportunities for students of color. In a powerful op-ed, Derrick Johnson, President of the Mississippi State Conference NAACP, and Gina Womack, Executive Director of Families and Friends of Louisiana's Incarcerated Children, write that what we need instead is to "get smart" with school discipline policies.

"Get tough" school discipline policies aren't doing anything to make our schools safer. In fact, they're creating a school-to-prison pipeline and exacerbating the school pushout crisis that is drastically curtailing access to educational opportunities for students of color.

Handcuffs On Success: Mississippi's School Discipline Crisis

Meridian, MS, has been in the news often over the past several months for it's horrendous school-to-prison pipeline. But the sad reality is that the injustices committed there – the heavy and unequal punishments levied for minor offenses, the absurd amount of police involvement in school discipline, the denial of due process rights to students – are happening across the state. A new report from our allies at the Mississippi NAACP, the ACLU, and the Advancement Project reveals that "Mississippi is mired in an extreme school discipline crisis."

We've previously covered the horror story that is the school-to-prison pipeline in Meridian, MS.

Handcuffs On Success: The Extreme School Discipline Crisis in Mississippi Public Schools

Publication Date: 
Fri, 2013-01-25
Type: 
reports
Category: 
equitable-instructional-materials

Meridian, MS, has been in the news often in the past several months for it's horrendous school-to-prison pipeline. But the sad reality is that the injustices committed there – the heavy and unequal punishments levied for minor offenses, the absurd amount of police involvement in school discipline, the denial of due process rights to students – are happening across the state. A new report from our allies at the Mississippi NAACP, the ACLU, and the Advancement Project reveals that "Mississippi is mired in an extreme school discipline crisis."

EdWeek: The Rise and Fall of Zero-Tolerance

Education Week has devoted a special section of its 2013 annual report to school discipline, chronicling the injustices and ineffectiveness of zero-tolerance and its connection to the school-to-prison pipeline, and highlighting the rising number of advocates and organizers trying to reform harsh discipline policies. And guess what? Our Solutions Not Suspensions initiative made it into the report!

Hats off to Education Week! One of the biggest ed-related news outlets out there, Ed Week recently devoted a special section of its 2013 annual report to school discipline.

State: 

5 Ways Michelle Rhee’s Report Puts Students Last

States are given a clear choice in this report: either you care about students, or about StudentsFirst. There’s little room for both. Here’s a list of 5 reasons why this State Report Card is a veritable wish list for privatization advocates and a recipe for failure for everyone else:

On Monday, the pro-privatization education group StudentsFirst, led by former D.C. public schools chancellor Michelle Rhee, released a State Policy Report Card, ranking states and giving each a letter grade based on their implementation of a slew of education reform policies.

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