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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Wednesday July 25, 2012 –

The National OTL Campaign's first webinar, held on Tuesday July 24th, explored the issue of education redlining, in which bad policies systematically deny resources and opportunities to certain communities. Attendees heard from panelists Michael Holzman, Senior Research Consultant for the Schott Foundation for Public Education, and Jennifer LaFleur, Director of Computer Assisted Reporting at ProPublica. Watch the full video of the webinar below.

Click here to learn more about the event and download the resources and tools discussed during the webinar! 

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Wednesday July 11, 2012 –

A recap of great advocacy efforts in New York by the Coalition for Educaitonal Justice.

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Monday June 18, 2012 –

Want to organize a press conference for your local group but never done it before? Alliance for Quality Education has you covered with this nifty "How To" video tutorial that will teach you all you need to know to host a successful press conference. Watch and learn everything from how to chose the most persuasive speakers and the best location to alerting the media and getting your message out there! 

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Friday June 1, 2012 –

About 100 protesters from the Boston-area Youth Organizing Project, Alliance for Education Justice and the National Campaign for Quality Education  held a "Rhee-Action" protest in November 2011 outside of a Michelle Rhee speaking engagement in Boston. The former superintendent of education in Washington, D.C., recommended implementing her education "reform" plan in Boston's public school system. The students, teachers and local organizers protesting made it clear they did not support Rhee's reforms and that her advice was unwelcomed in the debate over Boston's schools. 

Check out the video below! And click here to read more about the event in The Daily Free Press

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Friday May 25, 2012 –

Appleseed asks parents, educators and student board members to take action to make schools more equitable across the nation. 

And be sure to check out Appleseed's Resource Equity Assessment Document, a great resource for school boards and communities to measure the distribution of educational resources within and between districts. Download it here!

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Wednesday May 9, 2012 –

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, an OTL partner, has released "An Arkansas Student Bill of Rights," which details what students and parents should expect from their school districts and the resources and opportunities to which they are entitled in order to receive a quality education and reach their full potential. Watch the video, then download the report here!

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Friday April 27, 2012 –

In late March 2012, Massachusetts student advocates from Youth On Board and the Boston Student Advisory Council joined up with Chicago student advocates from Voices of Youth in Chicago Education at a press conference to push for the inclusion of student input in teacher evaluations in Chicago public schools. The MA students won their voice in teacher evaluations in June 2011. In April 2012, the Chicago public schools announced its new teacher evaluation system will include a pilot program for student feedback. The two groups of students connected at the 2011 National Opportunity to Learn Summit in Washington, D.C. 

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Thursday April 5, 2012 –

 From AQE, a great video recap of advocacy efforts in NY and the difference parents, students and teachers can make in the fight for quality public education. 

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Friday March 30, 2012 –

Raise Your Hand Campaign is a student-led research initiative in New Orleans schools that pulled together student testimony and research from 6 different public high schools to examine the opportunities, or lack thereof, available to students in the years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. The report the students assembled (download here) 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 Raise Your Hand Campaign is a stunning example of students organizing to make their voices heard in the education reform debate. Watch the video chronicling their initiative below.

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Thursday March 29, 2012 –

In 2007, students from the Boston Student Advisory Council began demanding a voice in teacher evaluations. After designing a student-to-teacher feedback form, they had it approved by the Boston School Committee and implemented throughout the district. In 2011, the MA Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted to make student feedback a mandatory component of official teacher evaluations.