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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Friday December 9, 2016 –

High-stakes tests became a centerpiece of education reform under No Child Left Behind: countless fill-in-the-bubble sheets that could impact everything from a student's academic placement and a teacher’s employment to school climate and whether their school will be closed. But what’s the origin of standardized testing? What does the research show? What can standardized tests truly measure, and how are policymakers (mis)using them?

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Thursday November 17, 2016 –

A week after the 2016 election, activists, policymakers, philanthropic leaders and scholars came together at the Boston Public Library to reflect and strategize how to pursue educational & social justice after Trump's victory.

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Wednesday October 5, 2016 –

With the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) last year, an unprecedented level of autonomy and control has been given to states and districts in crafting education policy. Many organizations and advocates see a real opportunity to advance an equity agenda through ESSA's implementation: the law supports the planning and implementation of community schools with wraparound supports and pushes states to look beyond mere test scores when assessing student achievement.

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Thursday September 1, 2016 –

The school-to-prison pipeline has been prominent in the education debate for the past several years, and youth, parents, teachers, and communities across the country have put questions of school discipline, restorative justice and implicit bias at the heart of their organizing work.

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Thursday July 28, 2016 –

What will it take to ensure that all children have an opportunity to learn, regardless of their background or which school they attend?

The work of the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado has long pointed out that the problems of inequity in public education aren’t just contained within our public schools, but also stem from larger structural issues in the community like unemployment, poverty, and disinvestment of public resources. These structural problems weigh down students and their schools in ways that more affluent communities rarely have to deal with — so what can we do to lift them up?

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Thursday July 7, 2016 –

The Schott Foundation a webinar featuring our partner Dignity in Schools Campaign where participants:
- Explored the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights First Look Data
- Prepared advocates for upcoming release of the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights district level data
- Shared potential strategies for how to use the data in organizing efforts at the local, state and federal level
- Described limitations of the data and places where those challenges are being discussed

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Friday April 29, 2016 –

Dozens of cities are gearing up for a demonstration of support for their public schools and the fight for the schools all our children deserve. On May 4, parents, students and educators will gather outside of their schools before the bell to hold a rally and march. Then they will walk into their schools together in a show of solidarity.

This is the second national walk-in event organized by the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools — and the movement is growing! Earlier this year, 33 cities participated in the first national walk-in on February 17.

Tune in for an exclusive webinar on the issues facing public education and the organizing we can do to make sure all children have an opportunity to learn in a safe and well-funded public school. Learn about walk-ins happening near you on May 4 and how you can get involved.

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Tuesday July 21, 2015 –

Last year, parents, students, teachers, and community members in Los Angeles achieved a huge victory for the city’s public schools: they successfully pushed the LA school board to adopt the “Equity Is Justice Resolution," which will guide the distribution of new state funding to prioritize the highest-needs students and schools.

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Monday April 13, 2015 –

In February 2015, the Schott Foundation for public education released the 2015 edition of its biennial report on public education and black male students. Watch (and share!) this short animation about the report. Read the full report here.

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Thursday February 19, 2015 –

In Part 2 of the ongoing series "A Perfect Storm: The Takeover of New Orleans Public Schools," filmmaker Phoebe Ferguson chronicles how the city's struggling public schools were seized by the state following Katrina and handed over to private, charter school operators. Now, in the nation's first all-charter school district, New Orleans parents and students must contend with the failures of this massive experiment in "school choice." Too many schools continue to struggle, deprived of the resources they need to give all kids the educational opportunities they deserve.