Fair and Just School Climate

Powerful Video Reaffirms That #BlackGirlsMatter

The African American Policy Forum, Advancement Project, Dream Defenders, and others released a new video that powerfully reaffirms the multitude of reasons why #BlackGirlsMatter. In the wake of high-profile police violence against black men and boys, and thanks to initiatives like President Obama's My Brother's Keeper initiative, national attention has begun to focus on the myriad problems black boys face. However, these efforts often ignore black girls, who face not only the same systemic racism, but also sexism.

The Dream Defender's #BlackGirlsMatter VideoThe African American Policy Forum, Advancement Project, Dream Defenders, and others released a new video that powerfully reaffirms the multitude of reasons why #BlackGirlsMatter.

State: 

MS Still Struggling with Discriminatory School Discipline

Thena Robinson-Mock, project director for the Advancement Project, provides an important update to the school discipline crisis in Mississippi in her recent op-ed for The Clarion-Ledger. Two years ago the Advancement Project, the ACLU, and the Mississippi NAACP jointly released a report exposing the state's extreme school-to-prison pipeline, and the discriminatory impact it had in particular on students of color. Unfortunately, Robinson-Mock writes that although some progress has been made, much still needs to be done to solve this problem.

Thena Robinson-Mock
Thena Robinson-Mock

Groundbreaking School Discipline Bill Passes Illinois Legislature

Voice of Youth in Chicago Education deserves tremendous praise for their latest victory—passing a groundbreaking school discipline reform bill through the Illinois Legislature. By ending the use of "zero tolerance" policies and restricting administrators' use of suspensions and expulsions, VOYCE's bill will help make Illinois schools more welcoming environments for students.

Voice of Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE) deserves tremendous praise for their latest victory—passing a groundbreaking school discipline reform bill through the Illinois Legislature. This bill is sorely needed, as Chicago schools struggle with the overuse of harsh school disciplinary practices that are disproportionately levied against students of color.

Zero-Tolerance Discipline and College Admissions

A recent editorial in the New York Times highlights the long-term consequences of "zero-tolerance" school discipline and how they can extend beyond the K-12 system and hurt students' chances of being accepted into college.

Often, when we talk about the impact of harsh school discipline policies, we talk about the short-run. We highlight how suspensions are disproportionately handed out to students of color, students with disabilities and LGBTQ students, often for minor, nonviolent misbehaviors, and this alienates students from the classroom and makes it more likely that they drop out of school. 

State: 

Student rights? There's an app for that!

The Boston Student Advisory Council released a first-of-its-kind website and phone app this week that is a great tool for empowering the city's students and ensuring the district respects their rights, particularly as they relate to school discipline.


BSAC students and staff at the launch event.

The Boston Student Advisory Council released a first-of-its-kind website and phone app this week that is a great tool for empowering the city's students and ensuring the district respects their rights, particularly as they relate to school discipline.

Black Girls Matter: Pushed-Out, Overpoliced and Underprotected

Publication Date: 
Thu, 2015-02-05
Type: 
reports

An important new report from the African American Policy Forum is a must-read for anyone committed to understanding how both race and gender impact educational opportunity in our country. Black Girls Matter: Pushed-Out, Overpoliced and Underprotected combines national data on school discipline with interviews with young women of color to paint a picture of their experiences in school and in their communities and to offer suggestions for how we can better support them.

An important new report from the African American Policy Forum is a must-read for anyone committed to understanding how both race and gender impact educational opportunity in our country. Black Girls Matter: Pushed-Out, Overpoliced and Underprotected combines national data on school discipline with interviews with young women of color to paint a picture of their experiences in school and in their communities and to offer suggestions for how we can better support them.

State: 

Why Restorative Justice Gets Better Results

In a letter to the editor for The Wall Street Journal, Lori Bezahler of the Hazen Foundation takes NYC charter school advocate Eva Moscowitz to task for her recent op-ed ridiculing restorative justice practices. Schools across the country are adopting restorative justice in lieu of harsh discipline for one simple reason: it works. It keeps more students in school, creates safer, more supportive learning environments, and raises test scores and graduation rates.


Lori Bezahler
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Twitter Rally Against Charter School Leader Eva Moskowitz

OTL allies held a Twitter rally last week after Eva Moskowitz, founder of Success Academy Charter Schools in New York City, penned an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal in which she tried to justify the use of harsh discipline policies in schools.

OTL allies held a Twitter rally last week after Eva Moskowitz, founder of Success Academy Charter Schools in New York City, penned an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal in which she

How ESEA Could Help End Discriminatory School Discipline

While debate around the reauthorization of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act has focused mainly on issues like standardized testing, school accountability and funding, an op-ed by Louisiana education organizer Gina Womack raises another important issue for federal policymakers: addressing the discriminatory impact of harsh school disciplinary policies.


Gina Womack, Families and Friends
of Louisiana's Incarcerated Children

Study Finds Disparities in School Discipline in Chicago

A new study from the University of Chicago found that while the overall number of out-of-school suspensions has decreased, suspension rates for African American male students remain especially high. This study illustrates the importance of organizing groups like Voices of Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE), which just last week celebrated as a bill to end harsh school discipline advanced out of the Illinois Senate Education Committee.

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