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

Council of State Governments Justice Center
Tuesday July 19, 2011 –

Findings from a multi-year study of discipline records for nearly 1 million Texas students show that the majority of them were suspended or expelled between seventh to 12th grade. A not-surprising corollary finding: When students are suspended or expelled, the likelihood that they will repeat a grade, not graduate, and/or become involved in the juvenile justice system increases significantly.  For more on the groundbreaking report by the Council of State Governments Justice Center in partnership with the Public Policy Research Institute at Texas A&M University.

View additional resources on ending zero tolerance policies >

RAND Corporation
Friday July 1, 2011 –

This report analyzes the effectiveness of the Schoolwide Performance Bonuses Program, which is an effort to improve student performance through school-based financial incentives. The three-year study, which found that the program did little to improve student achievement, examined student test scores; teacher, school staff, and administrator surveys; and interviews with administrators, staff members, program sponsors, and union and district officials.

Center on Education Policy
Wednesday June 29, 2011 –

A recent report by the Center on Education Policy finds that more school districts are predicting budget cuts compared to this time last year and say that the cuts will come at the expense of teachers and other core services. The report is based on a nationally representative survey. 

Education Law Center
Friday June 24, 2011 –

Investing in public education pays big dividends for Pennsylvania’s economy, increases civic and political participation, reduces crime, and improves the health of its citizens according to a new report from the Education Law Center and Penn State University. Pennsylvania’s Best Investment: The Social and Economic Benefits of Public Education urges investment in quality pre-kindergarten,  lowering class sizes in elementary schools and providing a rigorous curriculum that prepares all students for college. Read the report here.

The Wallace Foundation
Tuesday June 21, 2011 –

Summer learning programs can help children improve their academics, especially students from low-income families who may not have access to educational resources in the summer, and low-achieving students who need additional time to master academic materials. This report, conducted by RAND Education and sponsored by The Wallace Foundation, finds evidence of the effectiveness of summer learning programs and offers specific recommendations on how school districts can overcome barriers to establishing them so that all children have access to enrichment opportunities.

National Center for Education Statistics
Tuesday June 21, 2011 –

A new analysis by the National Center for Education Statistics of scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reviews the achievement gaps between Hispanic and White public school students at the state and national levels. While reading and mathematics scores for both Hispanics and Whites increased between 1990 and 2009, the achievement gaps remained stable at 21 points for fourth-grade mathematics and 26 points for fourth-grade reading. A previous report analyzes the NAEP achievement gap between Black and White students. 

Communities of Color Define Policy Priorities for High School Reform
Friday June 10, 2011 –

Each year, more than 1 million students drop of high school while still thousands more – the majority of whom are students of color and low-income students – graduate without the high-quality education they need to succeed in college, the workplace and in life. In a compelling new report, “The Plan for Success,” the Campaign for High School Equity has outlined the crisis and defined solutions that will require changes in policy and practice to help transform our high schools to ensure every student, regardless of race, ethnicity, ZIP code or socioeconomic status, has an opportunity to learn in a high-quality public school.

Southern Educationi Fund
Friday June 10, 2011 –

Created three years ago to help low-income children in poorly performing schools transfer to private schools, Georgia’s tax credit scholarship program has largely benefited well-to-do children and diverted more than $72 million in precious state tax revenue at a time when the state’s public education systems have experienced deep budget cuts. According to Southern Education Foundation’s report, each of the private school scholarships has cost the state more than twice what it would cost to send a child to public school. 

Youth Way on the MBTA
Friday June 10, 2011 –

Faced with rising costs of public transportation fares that threatened their ability to get to school, students in Boston took action to fight for their opportunity to learn. Their report, OpportuniT, shares three years of original youth-led research on youth riders and how to make transportation more affordable for youth ages 12 to 21.

National Education Association
Wednesday June 1, 2011 –

With high school dropout rates on the rise — disproportionately so among poor and minority students — this report calls on federal policymakers to draw on lessons learned from the New York City Department of Education's Multiple Pathways to Graduation (MPG) initiative. Using MPG as a case study, the report highlights the initiative's success in helping off-track students succeed and reach the same high standards by catering to their varying educational needs.