OTL Campaign Newsletter 
July 26, 2011

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National Opportunity to Learn Campaign: Save Our Schools March on July 30th Read more.

Heckman Equation: Why Early Childhood Investment Matters


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December 8-10:
National Opportunity to Learn Education Summit
Join an exciting gathering of grassroots advocates, philanthropic partners, federal and state policymakers, youth organizers, national organizations and researchers committed to providing all students an opportunity to learn. Come share advocacy and policy strategies and strengthen networks to build a state and national movement for change!

  • VOYCE: Zero tolerance costs Chicago tens of millions in taxpayer dollars
    imageThe student-led Voices of Youth in Chicago Education has compiled a cost-analysis that shows how enforcing and administering zero tolerance policies cost taxpayers and examines the damaging effects on students and schools. In the report, "Failed Policies, Broken Futures: The True Cost of Zero Tolerance," VOYCE writes that such harsh policies are "based on the fear that young people of color are future criminals, not the hope that we will be future leaders." Read more>

  • Change the script to bring in public education reform
    In his latest Huffington Post column, John H. Jackson calls for an end to the "made-for-TV" education non-reality series that for the past few years has starred characters the likes of Joel Klein, Michelle Rhee and, fresh on the scene, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Instead, we must roll the closing credits for self-invested "reformers" and have parents, students and grassroots advocates take their rightful positions on the stage. Read more>

  • ALEC Exposed: Starving public schools
    imageThe American Legislative Exchange Council, an ultra-conservative group whose corporate members are active in the task forces that develop models for introduction in state legislatures, is on "an ideological mission to defund and redesign public schools." In a recent article in The Nation, Professor Julie Underwood, Dean of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, exposes ALEC's privatization agenda, raising the question: "In a push to free-market education, who pays in the end?" Read more>

  • Federal Action on School-to-Prison Pipeline
    Positive steps following the recent release of the Dept. of Education Civil Rights Data Collection: the announcement of the Supportive School Discipline Initiative -- a collaboration between the Department of Education and Department of Justice designed to address the School-to-Prison Pipeline. "Ensuring that our educational system is a doorway to opportunity -- and not a point of entry to our criminal justice system -- is a critical, and achievable, goal," said Attorney General Holder. See statement from LDF; also July 25-26 action by Dignity in Schools Campaign.
  • Council of State Governments Justice Center: Breaking Schools' Rules
    A multi-year study of discipline records for nearly 1 million Texas students finds that the majority were suspended or expelled between seventh to 12th grade. The report by the Council of State Governments Justice Center in partnership with the Public Policy Research Institute at Texas A&M University also finds that 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 skyrockets. Read more>

  • Pew Center on the States: Pre-K as a School Turnaround Strategy
    The Pew Center's Pre-K Now project released a new paper making the case for "Pre-K as a School Turnaround Strategy." The paper urges members of Congress to look at state and local turnaround initiatives that use limited funds for proven early education programs as a way to improve student achievement. According to the report, "The evidence is clear and compelling: pre-K multiplies the impact of other reforms. Early investment is the best investment." Read more>

  • Georgetown University: The Undereducated American
    This report, by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, finds that the U.S. has been underproducing college-going workers since 1980. As a result, the country is losing its edge as an economic world leader. In order to reduce income inequality decline we must add 20 million postsecondary-educated workers to the workforce. We can do it if we make a concerted effort to improve levels of educational attainment. Read more>

  • Alliance for Excellent Education: Education and Economy
    In this report, the Alliance for Excellent Education examines the economic consequences of providing all students with an equal opportunity to learn. This report makes the economic case, analyzing state-level economic data to determine the potential monetary benefits for states that improve their graduation rates of students of color and Native students. Read more>
  • Fewer minority students taking advanced classes: A recent study by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights shows that fewer minority students are enrolling in advanced courses, leaving them in classrooms with the least experienced teachers. Read more>

  • Early education offers great returns: A Michigan business owner is calling on Congress to protect early learning in debt reduction talks. In this editorial, Milton Scales says educating children earlier and investing in high-quality early learning programs is the key to a more qualified workforce and can help boost local businesses. Read more>

  • Alarming data on education of black males in the U.S.: As a nation, we are failing our black male students. The Schott Foundation's "Yes We Can: The Schott 50 State Report on Public Education and Black Males" report revealed that, on average, only 47 percent of black males in the United States graduate from high school. Read more>

  • Paul Krugman speaks out on market-based school reform: As Dana Goldstein writes, in his recent speech at the annual American Federation of Teachers conference, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman told teachers they are not to blame for our nation's economic crisis. Krugman also compared the U.S. education system to the successful education platforms in France and Finland. Read more>

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National Opportunity to Learn Campaign
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www.otlcampaign.org | info@otlcampaign.org | 617-876-7700

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