National Opportunity to Learn Network

Schott’s Opportunity to Learn Network (OTL) unites a nationwide coalition of Schott grantees and allied organizations working to secure a high quality public education for all students.

By creating a space to highlight and celebrate grassroots organizing, share success stories and provide resources, OTL strives to create real and substantial change in our public education system. OTL advocates for supports­-based education reform, one that provides all students with access to crucial resources and opportunities such as early education, wraparound supports, fair school discipline, well­-supported teachers, and equitable school funding. To support our network of advocates and organizers, OTL provides regular updates on current grantee campaigns, publishes policy guides, infographics and other resources, and hosts summits and other network building events, all of which can be found below.

The Latest from the OTL Network

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Thursday November 16, 2017 –

Today, we have an opportunity as a nation to uplift Native American communities and tackle the gross inequities that persist as a result of our country’s brutal legacy of genocide, theft and racism. Education advocates and philanthropy can play an important role in that effort by reversing its own historical legacy of under investment and moving to boldly support Native led social change.

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Wednesday October 25, 2017 –
The struggles for racial justice and educational justice have been interlinked from the beginning of our nation’s history. It was under Black leadership during Reconstruction that the South saw the first state-funded public schools. The long, arduous work to win and maintain school integration was a keystone struggle during the Civil Rights movement. And today, the most powerful and energetic movements for education justice — fighting for fair funding, strong neighborhood public schools, and restorative justice — are those that take an intersectional approach to organizing.
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Tuesday September 12, 2017 –
The Schott Foundation for Public Education is proud to present the next installment in a two-part webinar series highlighting 21st Century Inclusive Leadership in Philanthropy. In part one of our series Antoinette Malveaux, Dr. Sherece West Scantlebury and Kirsten Livingston offered important insight and reflections from their unique experiences and leadership journeys as women of color. They discussed why accountability, gratitude, reflection and dying to ego are key attributes core to inclusive leadership practice.
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Wednesday August 30, 2017 –

In this new age of political uncertainty and social unrest, leaders of color will be key to navigating philanthropy's future. The Schott Foundation for Public Education is proud to present the first in a two-part webinar series highlighting 21st Century Inclusive Leadership in Philanthropy. In celebrating Black Philanthropy Month in August, we will honor the contributions of Black professionals in the field and the cultural tradition of generosity that exists in our communities. 

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Thursday June 22, 2017 –
The future of our public schools is being determined right now — but do you have a seat at the table? The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), passed in 2015, is being implemented across the country. The ESSA accountability plans that states and districts are setting up now could lead us toward equity and opportunity or push us down the path of privatization and disinvestment.
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Friday May 19, 2017 –
Rev. Dr. William Barber was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Schott Foundation 25th Anniversary Awards Gala, and his acceptance speech brought the crowd to their feet and quickly went viral.
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Friday April 21, 2017 –

It’s time for a brave conversation about the role racism has in perpetuating the disparities we’re working together to eliminate - and how we, as philanthropy, given our history of privilege and wealth - can be a more authentic partner with community to address healing and reconciliation in our world.

We examined philanthropy’s role in addressing structural racism from the inside out. We discussed both the progress philanthropy has made and challenges that remain. We also highlighted practices and strategies for improving as a field to advance equity within our communities.

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Friday March 31, 2017 –

One of the many insightful picket signs from the successful 2012 Chicago teachers' strike read, "together we bargain: alone we beg." That important lesson doesn't apply only to teachers, but to everyone who wants to improve their public schools.

In that spirit, several cities have developed community and labor partnerships that are working on collective community bargaining platforms for local change that goes beyond teacher salary and school day hours. These alliances translate into community power.

Early education funding, community schools, changing zero tolerance policies, and even banking foreclosure reform are among the issues community and labor groups are uniting around and scoring big wins. Across the country, parents, students and educators are discovering the power they have when they build a common vision and work together to make it a reality.

We discussed effective collaborations and strategies used by teachers unions and education justice groups led by parents, students and community members to achieve substantive outcomes for students and communities in Chicago. We also explored the broader implications for community and labor partnerships to address education reform, as well as the racial and economic justice issues that impact a student’s opportunity to learn.

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Wednesday January 11, 2017 –

In this webinar, “How to Stop the School-to-Prison Pipeline for Girls of Color,” we were joined by Dr. Monique W. Morris, author of Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools, and Aishatu Yusuf, who is currently working on participatory research aimed at interrupting school-to-confinement pathways for girls.