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

The latest from the Schott Foundation and our allies.
This weekend, Our Voice Our Schools coalition is gathering a group of community practitioners and activists to come together at Denver University and align around a comprehensive agenda for education justice in Denver. The goal of the event: to move from 'talk' to action by creating a comprehensive Loving School System agenda that highlights the systemic changes and investments needed to truly provide Black children in Denver their right to free, high-quality public education.
Today, we have more information available than ever before to understand the state of our cities. An exciting new addition, the Loving Cities Index recently launched by the Schott Foundation, measures how well cities are doing at creating loving systems that provide children and families with the resources and supports they need to have the opportunity to learn and succeed. Schott researched 24 indicators of access to opportunities and disaggregated the data by race to examine differences across 10 cities.
Schott applauds California Governor Gavin Newsom’s appointment of Linda Darling-Hammond as president of the State Board of Education. In news that received far less attention than President Trump’s feud with the state over the rail system, this is certainly a big win for California students, parents and teachers. One of the chief architects of the multiple-measure learning assessment system, Linda brings a much-needed balanced approach of standards and supports to the state’s educational system.
It may be hard to distinguish in the current political climate where the line of decency is—but one thing is clear, Donald Trump, Jr.’s recent attack on teachers crossed it. At the president’s February 11 border wall rally in El Paso, Trump, Jr. stirred up the crowd:
When striking Los Angeles teachers won their demand to call for a halt to charter school expansions in California, they set off a domino effect, and now teachers in other large urban districts are making the same demand. Unchecked charter school growth is also bleeding into 2020 election campaigns. Recently, New York magazine columnist Jonathan Chait berated Democratic Massachusetts Senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren for having opposed a ballot initiative in her home state in 2016 that would have raised a cap on the number of charter schools. “There may be no state in America that can more clearly showcase the clear success of charter schools than [Massachusetts],” declared Chait. But while Chait and other charter school fans claim Massachusetts as a charter school model, the deeper reality is that charters are driving Boston’s public education system to the financial brink.
Most people have a complex relationship with money. We either live in a state of perpetual lack, spend frivolously and without intention, or use it in ways that perpetuate harm. This is true for individuals and it is also true for institutions. The way to change our relationship with money is to dissect and examine it. As the philanthropic sector, we need to be having frank conversations about where wealth came from, why it’s held back from public coffers, how it’s invested as an endowment, and who gets to manage, allocate and spend it. As a Native American who has seen the ravages of colonialism and as someone who works in philanthropy, I know that understanding our historical relationship with wealth is not just a good idea; it is a moral imperative. No industry is immune from developing an unhealthy relationship to currency.
At the Schott Foundation we’ve been working for more than twenty-five years to support and empower the grassroots, community-centered organizations that are building movements strong enough to enact serious policy change. Here are a few ways to look at our impact in 2018 — which we're using to inform our 2019 strategy.
Today, as a member of the Lumbee Tribe and a foundation official, I plan to join with people across the United States to observe the third annual National Day of Racial Healing. Started by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, this national day is designed to bring Americans together to demonstrate solidarity and work toward healing our racial divides. But what does it take to truly heal?
More than 30,000 teachers at the Los Angeles Unified School District — the second-largest school district in the country after New York City — are about to go on strike. Support for L.A. teachers has been pouring in from across the country and, crucially, from within their own community too. Here is what you need to know about the upcoming strike and the politics & organizing around it:
2018 was a pivotal year in the education justice movement, for both bad and good reasons. We saw Education Secretary DeVos’ penchant for privatization and ultra conservative viewpoints result in actions like the imposition of harmful new Title IX guidance and the systematic dismissal of civil rights complaints. But we also saw a historic wave of teacher strikes roll across the nation, and scores of victories for public education in states, cities, and districts. Indeed, in this ESSA world most education policy struggles have been taking place below the Federal level — this trend should continue and accelerate in 2019, particularly as many municipal and school board officials face the voters this November. At the Schott Foundation we’ve been working for more than twenty-five years to support and empower the grassroots, community-centered organizations that are building movements strong enough to enact serious policy change. Here are ten policy victories our grantee partners and allies have celebrated in 2018, all of which provide the momentum for the important work ahead this year.