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The Color of School Closures

Mass school closings have become a hallmark of today's dominant education policy agenda. But rather than helping students, these closures disrupt whole communities. And as U.S. Department of Education data suggests, the most recent rounds of mass closings in Chicago, New York City, and Philadelphia disproportionately hurt Black and low-income students.

Mass school closings have become a hallmark of today's dominant education policy agenda. But rather than helping students, these closures disrupt whole communities. And as U.S. Department of Education data suggests, the most recent rounds of mass closings in Chicago, New York City and Philadelphia disproportionately hurt Black and low-income students. 

What can you do to end these discriminatory and unacceptable school closures?

Keeping Kids in Class: Arkansas Ally Releases In-Depth Analysis of School Discipline

Black students in Arkansas schools are more likely to be suspended and receive corporal punishment than their white counterparts, according to this comprehensive state-level analysis from Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (AACF), a member of the AR OTL Campaign. School disciplinary policies that disproportionately keep students of color out of school reduce their opportunities to learn and increase gaps in educational achievement. As this report shows, Arkansas schools rely far too often on disciplinary approaches that bar students from the classroom.

Black students in Arkansas schools are more likely to be suspended and receive corporal punishment than their White counterparts, according to a new report from Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (AACF), a member of the AR OTL Campaign.

An Arkansas Student Bill of Rights

Students and teachers shouldn't be held accountable to high-stakes test scores and grades unless they have the resources they need meet those standards. "An Arkansas Student Bill of Rights" calls for the state government to be held accountable for providing all students with the resources and opportunities they need to succeed. 

Accountability should go both ways. Students and teachers shouldn't be held accountable to high-stakes test scores and grades unless they have the resources they need meet those standards. Which means that state governments should be held to account for providing high-quality resources and opportunities for all children, regardless of where they live. 

SOTU: The Commander-in-Chief — and the Battle for Public Education

During Tuesday night's State of the Union Address, President Obama touched on education issues at several points in his speech. The Schott Foundation for Public Education today released its response to the President's education message.

 During Tuesday night's State of the Union Address, President Obama touched on education issues at several points in his speech. The Schott Foundation for Public Education today released its response to the President's education message:

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In the absence of dropout factories

By Michael Holzman, Senior Research Consultant, The Schott Foundation for Public Education

Robert Balfanz and his colleagues have drawn our attention to high schools where nearly half of students do not graduate with their peers.  The enrollment in these schools is overwhelmingly Black and Hispanic, and the concentration of Black students in urban drop-out factories is a significant contributor to the nation’s low educational attainment for male Black students and the wide achievement gap between these most vulnerable students and others.

Robert Balfanz and his colleagues have drawn our attention to high schools where nearly half of students do not graduate with their peers.  The enrollment in these schools is overwhelmingly Black and Hispanic, and the concentration of Black students in urban drop-out factories is a significant contributor to the nation’s low educational attainment for male Black students and the wide achievement gap between these most vulnerable students and others.

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A diagnosis and a prescription

By Michael Holzman, Senior Research Consultant, The Schott Foundation for Public Education

A Texas superintendent's diagnosis is that our relatively poor educational outcomes and large gaps in achievement are rooted in socioeconomic inequity; that if attention is paid to curing that problem, the schools will be able to do the rest. Meanwhile, a New York Times article highlights how the military's schools seem to have figured out a way to equalize the playing field for students. What seems to be the answer? Small classes, good housing and health care, integration.

There are two items in the press today (Dec. 12) that offer first a diagnosis of the ills of American public schools and then a prescription. 

John Kuhn, the superintendent of a small public school district in Texas, writing in Valerie Strauss’ Washington Post column “The Answer Sheet,” proposes that:

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Schott Foundation honors advocates of equity in public education

In just a few weeks, the Schott Foundation for Public Education will honor several extraordinary education leaders from around the nation at its 2011 National Opportunity to Learn Education Summit in Washington, D.C. The summit, “Uniting Communities for Education Justice and Action,” will be an exciting gathering of philanthropic leaders, state and federal policymakers, education reform advocates and youth activists from across the country. There's still time to register and join us!

In just a few weeks, the Schott Foundation for Public Education will honor several extraordinary education leaders during its Hot Schott Awards Gala at its 2011 National Opportunity to Learn Education Summit in Washington, D.C., Dec. 8-10 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.

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Grassroots Partners are Making #PoliceFreeSchools a Reality.

Demonstrations across the U.S. over the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and so many others who have died at the hands of police brutality have further exposed our deeply racist and oppressive police system. The weight of this moment, created by a tidal wave of organizing and mobilization, has forced public school leaders to reevaluate the presence of police in public schools.

Demonstrations across the U.S. over the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and so many others who have died at the hands of police brutality have further exposed our deeply racist and oppressive police system. The weight of this moment, created by a tidal wave of organizing and mobilization, has forced public school leaders to reevaluate the presence of police in public schools.

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Joint Statement of Education and Civil Rights Organizations Concerning Equitable Education During the COVID-19 Pandemic School Closures

The undersigned organizations representing school administrators, teachers, parents and education and civil rights advocates are committed to equitable educational opportunities for our nation’s students.  Understandably, as the COVID-19 pandemic extended to the United States, federal, state, tribal, and local governments have closed school buildings to prevent the spread of the novel virus. School closures have impacted 55 million K-12 students nationwide.  Although school buildings are closed, education and support services have continued, as “it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education.”  Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483, 493 (1954). 

April 27, 2020

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These community groups are making a difference during the pandemic.

The Schott Foundation’s partners are providing critically-needed aid in their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, just as they’ve done during previous crises. At the same time they are fighting to ensure those most impacted by school closures, job and housing insecurity, and hunger are included in shaping policies and allocating resources, especially in historically marginalized Black and brown communities. 

...but they need your help.

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