OTL Campaign Newsletter Special Edition
January 3, 2013

Gender Equity in Education Advocacy!

Happy New Year and welcome to this special edition of the OTL Campaign Newsletter! In addition to the usual exciting stories and videos from the front lines of education organizing and research, this edition features a special focus on gender equity. Just as we seek to address policies and practices that have a disparate effect on children of different racial or socioeconomic backgrounds, we must also promote solutions that address the unique situations of boys and girls in the classroom. Only by meeting the particular needs of each student can we ensure a fair and substantive opportunity to learn for all.

It's Our Time It's Our Time: The Empathy Gap for Girls of Color
Who better to talk about the challenges and opportunities young women of color face in education than the young women themselves? As part of an ongoing project, the Wellesley Centers for Women partnered with Boston-based Teen Voices to produce a short film featuring teens "as the experts and agents of their own learning experiences, offering examples of effective strategies and solutions for closing the opportunity gap." The goal of the project is to promote public discourse about barriers to educational equity for girls of color and push for change in education policy and practice. Watch it here>

Nakisha Lewis40 Years Later, Where Do We Stand?
By Nakisha Lewis, Schott Foundation for Public Education
2012 marked the 40th anniversary of the passage of Title IX of the Education Amendments, which were established to protect people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities. The passage of this law allowed us to formally acknowledge and address through legislation the disparities that exist in our education system for women and girls. Decades later, progress has been made, but as evidenced by the continued complaints and subsequent investigations of school districts by the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, barriers to educational success for young women still remain. Read more>

Where Do We Go From HereWhere Do We Go From Here? Philanthropy & Black Male Achievement
In the forward to a new report by the Open Society Foundation (OSF) and the Foundation Center, Shawn Dove, Campaign Manager for OSF's Campaign for Black Male Achievement, writes: "The spirit of Dr. King’s 'fierce urgency of now' declaration prompted the Campaign for Black Male Achievement to commission the Foundation Center to research and assess the current state of philanthropic investments that specifically respond to the crisis facing black men and boys in America. This report describes recent philanthropic investments and innovations in the field of black male achievement." Read more>

The LegislatorBreaking Down Barriers:
Girls' Equity in Education

The Schott Foundation for Public Education is on the front lines of the movement to ensure equity for girls in education, and their Girls' Equity Grant Program was recently featured in the December 2012 issue of The Legislator, the publication of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators! In the article, the Schott Foundation's Dr. John Jackson and Nakisha Lewis explain that young women of color face a unique set of challenges in the classroom that often go unacknowledged in today's education reform debate. Scott's grant program funds research and grassroots organizing to better define the issues young women face and elevate the voices of the young women at the center of these issues. Read more>

Black Male Donor CollaborativeThe Black Male Donor Collaborative & Holistic Education Reform
Community-driven reform and wraparound investments "may rest at the cutting edge of sustainable innovation in education reform," writes Nicole W. Sharpe, Director of the New York-based Black Male Donor Collaborative (BMDC), in a letter about the need for a holistic approach to education reform. Underscoring BMDC's work is a commitment to increasing access to high-quality diverse schools; developing afterschool programs in high-poverty and underserved communities; intensive academic supports for struggling 2nd- to 5th- grade students; and intensive case management for 6th, 8th, and 9th graders who are falling behind. Read more>

The Urgency of NowThe Urgency of Now: New Interactive Website on Black Males & Public Education
Pop quiz: What is the high school graduation rate for Black male students in your state? How about the percent scoring at or above proficient on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)? Don't know? Use this interactive tool to find out! The website is a complement to the Schott Foundation for Public Education's recently released report, The Urgency of Now: The Schott Foundation 50-State Report on Public Education and Black Males. Read more>

National Women's Law CenterA Pregnancy Test for Schools
By Fatima Goss Graves & Lara S. Kaufmann, National Women's Law Center
From "Juno" to "16 & Pregnant," the American public has been fascinated by the specter of teenage pregnancy. Unfortunately, the issue of young mothers and their education has received little attention. Even 40 years after the passage of Title IX, the landmark federal law that bans sex discrimination (including pregnancy discrimination) in schools, pregnant and parenting students continue to be barred from activities, kicked out of school, pressured to attend alternative programs, and penalized for pregnancy-related absences. Read more>

Robert Wood Johnson FoundationProgress Means Supports, Not Just Standards
An increasing number of individuals and organizations are realizing that raising standards does nothing to increase achievement without the necessary supports to meet those standards. A new initiative called Forward Promise perfectly illustrates the type of cross-sector, supports-based reform that our students and communities need to ensure all students, particularly young men of color, have access to the resources and opportunities they need to succeed. Read more>

NoVo FoundationWhy We Should Invest in Girls and Women
In a fantastic column, Jennifer Buffett, Co-Chair and President of the NoVo Foundation, lays out exactly why it is so vitally important that we empower and support young women and ensure they have the resources and opportunities they need to thrive. Young women are "powerful agents for change," and though their unique situations and challenges are often overlooked in an education reform debate that frequently focuses on the plight of young men, they deserve the same attention and investment in their futures. Read more>

African American Policy ForumAre Girls Getting Lost in the School-to-Prison Pipeline?
In this first in a series of forthcoming reports from the African American Policy Forum (AAFP), Monique W. Morris, a 2012 Soros Justice Fellow hosted by AAFP, examines how the "school-to-prison pipeline" metaphor often fails to consider the unique position of Black girls in the push to reform school discipline policies. By ignoring issues of identity politics and the stereotypes facing young Black women, the current debate about school discipline leaves Black girls "in a nebulous space between males and other women, where they are rendered not only invisible but powerless to correct course with opportunities that respond to their triple status as female, as a youth, and as a person of African descent." Read more>

The District 16 ProjectThe District 16 Project: Bottom-Up Grassroots Reform
New York City's Community School District 16 serves a concentrated population of low-income Black male students. In the wake of numerous reports illustrating the grim educational realities for all students in the district, a coalition of local organizations has formed to try to save the Bedford-Stuyvesant community schools. The District 16 Project decided that the best way to get to the heart of the problem was by taking a bottom-up, grassroots approach. Read more>

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National Opportunity to Learn Campaign
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