New York

Press Coverage and Photos From Educate NY Now Bus Tour and Rally!

It's safe to say, our friends and allies in New York know how to put on an event! And man, do they know how to turn out the media to cover it! On Wednesday, hundreds of parents, students, teachers and advocates from across New York joined the Educate NY Now bus tour traveling to Albany to rally against cuts to the state education budget and to call for a renewed commitment from policymakers to provide every student with a fair and substantive opportunity to learn. The tour stopped at more than 25 communities across the state and brought more than 700 people to the rally at the state capitol.

It's safe to say, our friends and allies in New York know how to put on an event! And man, do they know how to turn out the media to cover it! 

AQE Press Release from Education NY Now Bus Tour and Rally!

More than 700 students, parents, teachers and advocates from acros NY traveled to Albany today as part of the Educate NY Now bus tour and rally. Here is a press release from OTL ally Alliance for Quality Education as well as several pictures!

Below is the press release from OTL ally Alliance for Quality Education, who is playing a major role in today's Educate NY Now bus tour and rally in Albany, NY.

Today! Educate NY Now Bus Tour to Albany Protest Event!

Today's the day! Advocates from across New York, many of whom we're proud to count among our friends and allies, are boarding Albany-bound buses today heading to an Educate NY Now protest event at the state's capitol. Their mission: protest the inequities that are rampant in NY's public school funding system and that are denying children across the state access to a fair and substantive opportunity to learn. For live updates and photos, follow Educate NY Now on Facebook, or check out the #EducateNYNow hashtag on Twitter!

Today's the day!

'Step Up to the Plate and Fix the Inequities Or Else'

In an interview about the Campaign for Fiscal Equity's ongoing work fighting for funding equity in NY public schools, David Sciarra, Executive Director of Education Law Center, said in no uncertain terms that his organization and allies wouldn't stand for education officials' lack of initiative in dealing with the persisitent and unjust funding inequities that are hurting schools in poor communities.

If you aren't familiar yet with the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) and Education Law Center (the group which runs CFE), allow us to introduce you to David Sciarra, ELC's Executive Director and this week's "Schooler-in-Chief" of New York education officials. 

NY Allies Rally in Buffalo for Solutions Not Suspensions

On Wednesday, Sept. 26th, two of our New York OTL allies, Citizen Action and the Alliance for Quality Education organized a rally with parents, students, activists, and community members on the steps of the Buffalo City Hall to call for a revision to the current Code of Conduct. Both AQE and Citizen Action are signatories to Solutions Not Suspensions, an initiative calling for a moratorium on out-of-school suspensions, and have been deeply involved in discipline-related advocacy work in Buffalo.

The following is a press release from our New York allies Alliance for Quality Education (AQE) and Citizen Action of New York, who co-hosted a rally in Buffalo, NY, to advocate for school discipline reform.

In NYC, "Demography Is Still Destiny"

New York City policymakers and education officials seem convinced that their choice-based reform agenda and "no excuses" attitude is doing wonders to expand access to educational resources for the city's students. But a new report from the Annenberg Institute for School Reform (AISR) shows that demography still trumps choice and until the city takes seriously the need for more a equitable distribution of resources, a student's zip code and education redlining will continue to determine his chances for educational success. Accompanying the report is an interactive map tool from the Coalition for Educational Justice that highlights the relationship between the college readiness of high school graduates and the socio-economic makeup of their communities.

New York City policymakers and education officials seem convinced that their choice-based reform agenda and "no excuses" attitude is doing wonders to expand access to educational resources for the city's students.

"Justice Is Equitable Funding for ALL Our Schools"

Publication Date: 
Fri, 2012-10-26

Check out this amazing video chronicling Journey for Justice, a protest event held in Washington, D.C. in September! Advocates from across the country (including several OTL allies) traveled to the nation's capital to rally and march against school closures, which disproportionately affect low-income communities and communities of color. Before being given the axe, these schools are often set up to fail: they're chronically underfunded and unable to provide the types of resources and opportunities students need to succeed. As the advocates in the video say, "Justice is equitable funding for all our schools."

Check out this amazing video chronicling Journey for Justice, a protest event held in Washington, D.C. in September! Advocates from across the country traveled to the nation's capital to rally and march against school closures, which disproportionately affect low-income communities and communities of color. 

Convening: Ask Students, We're the Ones in the Classroom!

Driven by the simple belief that students are the ones in the classroom and they should be asked about their learning experiences, advocates from 10 states (including many OTL allies) came together at a convening at the Harvard Graduate School of Education to develop messaging and organizing strategies to push for student input in the decisions affecting their education and teacher evaluations. Already in a few states, there are policies that give students a voice in the classroom, and many other states and districts would like to change their own policies through student input.

The following post was written by advocates from Youth on Board following a convening they hosted in Massachusetts. Many of the groups attending the event are OTL allies from across the country (see full list, bottom of page). The convening focused on sharing and developing organizing strategies to push for more student input in decisions affecting their education and teacher evaluations. 

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Picking up Steam: The Fight to End School Closures

A passionate group of advocates from across the country rallied in Washington D.C. last month to protest school closures and file complaints with the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights. The "Journey for Justice" event was just one of a rising tide of opposition to the unjust practice of closing down failing schools. According to an article in Education Week, the practice "has become the strategy of first instance, not of last resort," and is disproportionately affecting schools in communities of color. 

A passionate group of advocates from across the country rallied in Washington D.C. last month to protest school closures and file complaints with the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights. The "Journey for Justice" event was just one of a rising tide of opposition to the unjust practice of closing down failing schools.

Winners, Losers and Competitive Grants

In a new report, the Alliance for Quality Education (one of our New York allies) criticizes the state's competitive grant program and says that by forcing schools to compete for funding rather than allocating that money to the schools that need it most, the state is creating a "system of education winners and losers" that denies struggling schools and their students a fair and substantive opportunity to learn.

For a country that prides itself on supposed equal opportunity for all, you would think our policymakers would shy away from education policies that blatantly favor already well-off schools over struggling schools in need of support. Not so when it comes to education funding and competitive grantmaking.

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