Wraparound Student Supports
In order to help all students succeed, our nation must provide supports and opportunities that extend beyond the classroom to address the many and varied needs students bring with them to school. Because of their centralized location in the community, schools are an ideal place to house and coordinate access to a host of wraparound supports for students and their families, including health services, socio-emotional supports, tutoring, afterschool programs, pre-kindergarten, job training, English classes and more
The Latest on Wraparound Student Supports
Next year 23 schools in Philadelphia will be closed, and schools that remain open will be receiving hundreds of new students relocated from closed schools. At schools like South Philadelphia High School students are taking the lead to make sure the transition is as smooth as possible. Members of the school's chapter of the Philadelphia Student Union created "The Big Listen" - listening sessions for their classmates concerns to be heard.
This report card on New York State's progress in improving public education is far from stellar. The report card finds that the state is moving in the right direction only in expanding access to pre-K and creating community schools. Otherwise, New York's policymakers are failing to ensure equity for all students in areas like expanded learning time, providing challenging and engaging curriculum, school climate, and school funding. Providing these resources and opportunities are the standards by which every state and and policymaker should be held accountable.
Members of Chicago Students Organizing to Save Our Schools speak out against school closures and education budget cuts at a Board of Education meeting – and are kicked out for speaking truth to power.
20 years after Massachusetts (often lauded as a leader in education policy) passed the Education Reform Act of 1993, Citizens for Public Schools, an OTL ally, took a long hard look at the results of that law to find the state still has a ways to go toward ensure equity and opportunity for all Massachusetts students. [Executive summary available below. Download the full report here.]
In 2006, the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) won a major fair funding lawsuit against the State of New York, and policymakers promised to institute a more equitable school funding system. Though the state has since walked back that promise due to the recession and years of cuts to the education budget, it's worth understanding just how CFE made it's successful case. Michael Rebell, one of the lawyers on the CFE case, explains how his team argued that for all students to meet state standards, the state must commit to providing them with equitable funding. Anything less was a violation of the state's constitutional obligation to provide students with "a sound, basic education."
In an age of mass school school closings, "A Proposal for Sustainable School Transformation" has been held up as a model of smart policy by organizers fighting for the resources and opportunities to support their local schools. It advocates for a strong focus on school culture, curriculum and staffing, and wrap-around supports for children.
The National Education Policy Center's new book "Closing the Opportunity Gap" offers a wide array of policy recommendations for closing the opportunity gap and ensuring all students have the resources they need to succeed. This policy guide distills the most important recommendations from the book at three different levels: at the level of students' individual needs, at the level of in-school opportunities and resources, and at the level of communities and neighborhoods.
Top-down pressure from federal education policies such as Race to the Top and No Child Left Behind, bolstered by organized advocacy efforts, is making a popular set of market-oriented education “reforms” look more like the new status quo than real reform. Reformers assert that test-based teacher evaluation, increased access to charter schools, and the closure of “failing” and under-enrolled schools will boost at-risk students’ achievement and narrow longstanding race- and income-based achievement gaps. This new report from the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education examines these assertions by comparing the impacts of these reforms in three large urban school districts – Washington, D.C., New York City, and Chicago – with student and school outcomes over the same period in other large, high-poverty urban districts. The report finds that the reforms deliver few benefits, often harm the students they purport to help, and divert attention from a set of other, less visible policies with more promise to weaken the link between poverty and low educational attainment.
A new guide from the Schott Foundation, Opportunity Action, and national partners including the National School Board Association (NSBA) highlights school districts across the country for their efforts to create discipline policies aimed at ending excessive and discriminatory out-of-school suspensions. "Addressing the Out-of-School Suspension Crisis: A Policy Guide for School Board Members" urges local officials to implement positive discipline policies that keep students in the classroom and learning.
A new report from UCLA's Civil Right Project is a one stop shop for all the school discipline data advocates or organizers needto fight the overuse of out-of-school suspensions. Out of School & Off Track uses data from over 26,000 U.S. middle and high schools for the 2009-2010 academic year and breaks it down by district, race, gender, elementary/secondary school level, English language learners, and disability status.