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

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families
Wednesday May 9, 2012 –

Teachers and students shouldn’t be judged on test scores, grades, and reading levels if they don’t have the proper tools to produce high-quality outcomes. An Arkansas Student Bill of Rights, using opportunity to learn (OTL) standards as the basis for measurement and accountability, unequivocally ensures the state will provide all students with the resources necessary to obtain a high-quality public education and achieve success in college and later, a career, including access to high-quality early childhood education, prepared and effective teachers, college preperatory curriculum for all students, and equitable instructional materials.

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families
Tuesday May 1, 2012 –

Numerous national groups, including the National Opportunity to Learn Campaign and the Annie E. Cassie Foundation, have made access to quality early childhood education a crucial part of their campaigns. This report, from Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, provides further evidence that pre-K programs can make a difference in a child's long-term academic success and that they are espcially important for low-income children. This report is especially important as it shows the marked increase in student achievement as a result of a 2003 AR law which established the Arkansas Better Chance for School Success program for three- and four-year-old children who live in families with incomes less than 200 percent of the federal poverty line. More than 59 percent of Arkansas children from birth to age three live below that 200 percent threshold. 

The Schott Foundation for Public Education
Tuesday April 17, 2012 –

In New York City public schools, a student's chances for educational success are more often determined by where he or she lives than their abilities. The city's education policies and practices have resulted in an inequitable distribution of educational resources that intensifies the impact of poverty and denies certain students a meaningful education. Similar to the "redlining" banking practices that once denied investments to communities of color, the education landscape today effectively redlines students of color and low-income students from the resources they need to succeed.

National Institute for Early Education Research
Tuesday April 10, 2012 –

This report from the National Institute for Early Education Research analyzes national and state statistics and trends on the availabilty of quality Pre-K programs across the country. The report includes detailed state profiles that measure not just access access to early education opportunities but also whether available Pre-K programs meet a set of 10 benchmarks for quality. 

Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association of New Orleans
Friday March 30, 2012 –

This student-led research initiative in New Orleans schools pulls together student testimony and research from 6 different public high schools and examine the opportunities, or lack thereof, available to students in the years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. The report examines everything from teaching quality and student support services to physical environment and school food, and gives each school a report card and recommendations for improvement. Altogether, the report is a stunning example of students organizing to make their voices heard in the education reform debate. 

Executive summary is available to download at the bottom of this post. To download the full report, click here.

Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association of New Orleans
Friday March 30, 2012 –

This student-led research initiative in New Orleans schools pulls together student testimony and research from 6 different public high schools and examine the opportunities, or lack thereof, available to students in the years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. The report examines everything from teaching quality and student support services to physical environment and school food, and gives each school a report card and recommendations for improvement. Altogether, the report is a stunning example of students organizing to make their voices heard in the education reform debate. The full report is available to download at the bottom of this post. To download just the executive summary, click here.

Linda Darling-Hammond, Audrey Amrein-Beardsley, Edward Haertel and Jess Rothstein
Wednesday March 21, 2012 –

 "Evaluating Teacher Evaluations," published in Phi Delta Kappan is a great tool for understanding value-added rating models and how they fail to account for the vast number of factors that influence a student's test scores from one year to the next. Since value-added models can't control for factors like class size, home and community challenges, summer learning loss (which disproportionately affects low-income students), then there is no way they can provide an accurate picture of how effective a teacher is in raising student test scores. 

Children's Defense Fund - New York
Thursday March 1, 2012 –

In this report, the Children's Defense Fund - New York brings to life data on the stark inequities in NYC's environment, schools and criminal justice system through a stunning series of maps illustrating "the legacy of years of misinformed fiscal and policy decisions." They are a call to action and a reminder that for decades "the lions of distress and limited opportunities were pursuing the children who call these neighborhoods home." 

Click here to download the report!

Wednesday February 22, 2012 –

In "We're Not Even Allowed to Ask," The Coalition for Asian American Children and Families dubunks the myth of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs) as model minority students and shows they face the same opportunity and achievement gaps as other minority groups in New York City schools. 

Alliance for Quality Education, Citizen Action of New York, Winning Beginning New York
Tuesday February 7, 2012 –

This report details how under-investment in early care and education programs in New York creates long-term costs for society and disproportionately harms students of color, the very students who stand to benefit the most from Pre-K programs. 

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