OTL Campaign Newsletter 
September 21, 2011
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The National Council of Churches: Educational Opportunity for All

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OTL HIGHLIGHTS
NY: Fighting painful education budget cuts
In their statewide effort, "School Cuts Hurt: Week of Action," the Alliance for Quality Education and Citizen Action of New York call on communities to send the unmistakable message to NY Gov. Cuomo that slashing education funding is detrimental to children. Read more>

SAT scores: A measure of a caste society
With scores down to historic lows, the data reinforce the unconscionable reality that academic achievement is directly correlated with family income and level of education. Exacerbating other difficulties poor families face is that the quality of the schools varies with family socioeconomic status. Read more>

Colorado panel says scrap strict discipline rules
To ensure all children have access to an equal opportunity to learn -- regardless of where they live, the color of their skin or the wealth of their household -- we must keep them in school learning. Systems across the country are increasingly realizing that it does no one any good to kick them out for a nonviolent offense. Read more>

Churches challenge conventional wisdom
Despite decades of research documenting the need to address school inequity and childhood poverty, the media and leaders in both political parties are misguided in promoting market-based, test-and-punish reforms as the answer. A valuable resource for faith community dialogues. Read more>

RESOURCES
Kids Count offers view into children's well-being
The Annie E. Casey Foundation's annual 2011 Kids Count report spotlights national statistics and state-by-state data for those who are working hard on behalf of children's issues. Among its findings is that Arkansas, an OTL partner, ranks 47th among states in measurements for child well-being because of its high child poverty rate. Read more>

IN THE NEWS
  • Civil rights icon promotes middle school algebra: For the past 30 years, legendary Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee organizer, Robert Moses, has promoted algebra as a civil right for middle school kids. Moses, the founder of The Algebra Project, was in Washington, D.C., recently talking about how the nonprofit group works to make algebra more available to middle schoolers as a way to develop careers in math, science and engineering. Read more>.

  • Blaming teacher is getting us nowhere: The same patterns that almost destroyed U.S. manufacturing are being repeated in education with teachers, asserts this Los Angeles Times op-ed. Teachers are not seen as critical collaborators in school-improvement efforts. Instead, they are treated as impediments to top-down decisions and viewed as replaceable. There's a better way: Learn from successful collaborations between districts and teachers. Read more>

  • Uniting to save Black and Latino males: A new effort in New York is focused on the right goal of addressing the educational crisis facing Black and Latino males. Unfortunately, even the most well-intentioned efforts are unlikely to succeed without more adults with the right commitment and skills leading the way. Read more>

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National Opportunity to Learn Campaign
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