Minnesota

Think and "act" locally: Pressing school boards to erase opportunity gaps

By Edwin C. Darden, Director of Education Law and Policy, Appleseed

Appleseed has developed an assessment tool that helps expose inequities. Called the Resource Equity Assessment Document (READ), the tool will be distributed to community partners and school boards to spur action. When armed with data that makes the case for change, community organizations can help school boards reset the balance between impoverished and better-off students.

Why do schools in high-poverty neighborhoods have fewer textbooks, foreign language offerings, Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses, and smaller libraries than schools in middle-class neighborhoods? Why do wealthier kids have teachers and principals with more credentials, experience and talent? And more importantly, how do we make change happen so all students can proceed from the same starting line?

A Primer on Corporate School Reform

Publication Date: 
Thu, 2011-10-27
Author: 
Stan Karp
Type: 
reports

This is an edited version of a commentary given by Stan Karp , a teacher of English and journalism in Paterson, N.J., for 30 years. Karp spoke on Oct. 1 at the fourth annual Northwest Teachers for Justice conference in Seattle. He is now the director of the Secondary Reform Project for New Jersey’s Education Law Center and an editor of the 25-year-old Rethinking Schools magazine. A video and fuller version of the commentary can be found here.

This is an edited version of a commentary given by Stan Karp , a teacher of English and journalism in Paterson, N.J., for 30 years. Karp spoke on Oct. 1 at the fourth annual Northwest Teachers for Justice conference in Seattle. He is now the director of the Secondary Reform Project for New Jersey’s Education Law Center and an editor of the 25-year-old Rethinking Schools magazine.

Corporate reform attitude hurting public education

"Corporate reform" isn't doing anything good for public education, says Stan Karp, the director of the Secondary Reform Project for New Jersey's Education Law Center. Speaking at the Northwest Teachers for Social Justice Conference in October, Karp criticized the corporate attitude that is guiding major "reform" legislation. 

Need a quick primer on "corporate reform" in public education and its consequences? Stan Karp's got you covered. The director of the Secondary Reform Project for New Jersey's Education Law Center, Karp spoke last month at the Northwest Teachers for Social Justice Conference, criticizing the corporate attitude that is guiding major "reform" legislation.

Community leadership key to school turnaround

Tina Dove, Director, National Opportunity to Learn Campaign

The nation is not going to improve the educational outcomes and lifetime opportunities of its neediest citizens until we turn around our lowest-performing schools. The question has been – and remains: How do we do that? Under the federal School Improvement Grant program, the answer is for schools that are targeted for the grants to adopt one of four school improvement models, ranging from a purge of school leadership to closing the school. Communities for Excellent Public Schools and a growing list of community-based organizations in low-income communities of color across the country have signed a petition urging Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to consider a different solution to turn around schools and sustain improved performance.

The nation is not going to improve the educational outcomes and lifetime opportunities of its neediest citizens until we turn around our lowest-performing schools. The question has been – and remains: How do we do that?

Under the federal School Improvement Grant (SIG) program, the answer is for schools that are targeted for the grants to adopt one of four school improvement models, ranging from a purge of school leadership to closing the school.

Opportunity Gap Toolkit

Publication Date: 
Mon, 2011-10-31
Type: 
toolkits

From our Opportunity to Learn campaign, here is a primer on the opportunity gap, including an overview, talking points, key data and resources - all the tools you'll need to advocate for a fair and substantive opportunity to learn for all children.

Vouchers Toolkit

Publication Date: 
Mon, 2011-10-31
Type: 
toolkits

The National Opportunity to Learn Campaign has developed this toolkit on vouchers, a primer that includes an overview of the issue, talking points, key data and resources. This toolkit provides all the tools you need to advocate for investing in public education instead of diverting public funds to private and religious schools.

Education: escalator out of poverty

Tina Dove, Director, OTL Campaign

It’s no surprise that the voice of educational opportunity is spreading and growing louder as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Education has always been the bridge to prosperity and opportunity for Americans. And it still is: The unemployment rate for college graduates is less than half what it is for non-college graduates.

But the nation seems to have forgotten this.

It’s no surprise that the voice of educational opportunity is spreading and growing louder as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Education has always been the bridge to prosperity and opportunity for Americans. And it still is: The unemployment rate for college graduates is less than half what it is for non-college graduates.

But the nation seems to have forgotten this.

Effective teaching as a civil right

No classroom factor is more important in the success of students than teachers. Unfortunately, that message often gets lost in today’s education debates. We are particularly concerned about the toll that the bashing of teachers, budget cuts, and pressure to produce test scores is taking on our nation’s teaching force.

No classroom factor is more important in the success of students than teachers. Unfortunately, that message often gets lost in today’s education debates. 

NO PLACE FOR KIDS: The Case for Reducing Juvenile Incarceration

Publication Date: 
Fri, 2011-10-21
Type: 
reports

Putting young people in jail – particularly for nonviolent offenses – is a failed strategy, according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation that relied on decades of research and data. The report's most scathing findings include that youth incarceration does not reduce future offending; provides no overall benefit to public safety; wastes taxpayer dollars; and exposes youth to high levels of violence and abuse.

Annie E. Casey report: Jailing youths is a failed strategy

Putting young people in jail – particularly for nonviolent offenses – is a failed strategy, according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation that relied on decades of research and data such as this: “Nationally, just 12 percent of the nearly 150,000 youth placed into residential programs by delinquency courts in 2007 had committed aggravated assault, robbery, rape, or homicide.” The greatest proportion of incarcerated youth – about 40 percent of the total, and disproportionately youth of color – are held in locked, long-term correctional facilities. 

Putting young people in jail – particularly for nonviolent offenses – is a failed strategy, according to a new report from the Annie E.

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