OTL Campaign Newsletter 
March 21, 2012

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Tina at rally

"Take back your capitol!"
Tina Dove, National OTL Campaign Director, at Albany rally


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AQE Rally Photo Over 1,800 Rally in Albany to Protest Education Crisis
Drawing attention to $2.7 billion in education budget cuts, New York students, parents and educators rallied in Albany this week to protest the funding crisis that has forced districts to drastically curtail everything from pre-K programs, Advanced Placement classes and after school programs. Tina Dove, Direction of the National Opportunity to Learn Campaign, spoke at the event as well as state legislators and AQE Executive Director Billy Easton. Click through for pictures and video! Read more >

parents rallying Highlighting Grassroots Victories: FL, PA, NY
Parent and community organizing pays off, and recent successes from across the country remind us just how powerful our voices can be. In Florida, parent organizing led to the defeat of a "parent trigger" bill. Protests in PA have drawn attention to drastic cuts to the state's education budget. In NY, organizers are demanding equitable funding policies and support for struggling schools. Read more>

MCPS: A Model for Collaboration, Not Confrontation
Montgomery County School District is a model for collaboration between teacher unions and administrators and serves as a strong counter-argument to corporate-style reform efforts that seek to antagonize and dismantle unions. In particular, it's "Peer Assistance and Review" program, which is highlighted in a recent Annenberg Institute report, pairs struggling teachers with mentor teachers to help them improveRead more>


PDK Cover
Evaluating "Value-Added" Teacher Evaluations
This recent brief published in Phi Delta Kappan by Linda Darling-Hammond is a great tool for understanding how "value-added" models fail to account for the vast number of factors that influence student test scores. Since the models can't control for factors like class size, home environment, or summer learning loss, there is no way they can paint an accurate picture of a teacher's effect on test scores. The brief also provides examples of school districts that have successfully implemented more well-rounded evaluation systems. Read more>

  • Parents, Community Groups Pressed to Fill K-12 Budget Gaps: As education budgets are being slashed across the country, school districts are relying increasingly on donations and fundraising from community groups to make up the difference. But because poorer districts have less resources to offer than more affluent districts, this new funding strategy is leading to further inequities in our nation's public schools. Read more>

  • The Reproduction of Privilege: Contributing to a cycle of income inequality and lost opportunity is the lack of access low-income students have to competitive universities. Today, 74 percent of students attending our nation's most competitive schools come from families with incomes in the top quartile. Just 3 percent of students at those schools come from families with incomes in the bottom quartile. Read more>

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National Opportunity to Learn Campaign
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