OTL Campaign NewsletterJanuary 31, 2013


Linda Darling-Hammond

Linda Darling-Hammond talks about the dangers of high-stakes testing


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MS OTL Conference

Mississippi OTL Conference
April 27-28th in Jackson, MS
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Jonathan Kozol receiving "Heroes
in Education" award from FairTest
Thurs. May 9th in Cambridge, MA
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The Color of School Closures – Chicago, NYC & Philly

The most recent rounds of mass school closures in Chicago, NYC and Philadelphia disproportionately hurt Black and low-income students. Share this infographic and send us your stories of closures in your community! Learn more and read about alternatives to closing schools here.

School Boards Play A Key Role in Ending Suspensions

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) recently voted to adopt a resolution to prevent the use of out-of-school suspensions. One of the most crucial tools to use on the local level is this new policy guide from the OTL Campaign and NSBA that details how district officials can help end the school-to-prison pipeline and highlights districts across the country that are implementing positive school discipline reforms. Read more>

Market-Oriented Ed Reform's Rhetoric Trumps Reality

A new report from the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education shines a welcome light on the failures of market-based education policies like teacher evaluations tied to high-stakes tests, school closures, and more charter schools.Take a deep dive into Washington D.C., NYC and Chicago schools to learn which "reforms" we need less of – and what to do instead. Read more>

Arkansas Passes School Discipline Reform

AR OTL Thanks to the work of OTL allies in Arkansas, policymakers have passed a bill that makes big changes in how the state gathers, examines and acts on school discipline data. The state DOE will now issue a report each year with district-level data on suspensions, expulsions and referrals to law enforcement, and provide districts with strategies and resources for implementing reforms. Read more>

New York City Fails Its Own Fair Funding Measures

NYC Budget Office A report from New York City's Independent Budget Office reveals that 94% of schools aren't getting the resources they should be as mandated by the Department of Education's own fair student funding formula. Read more>

How Boston Students Won A Voice in Teacher Evals.

BSAC Logo In an article published in Phi Delta Kappan, Dan Chu from the Boston Student Advisory Council (BSAC) details BSAC's long and ultimately successful campaign to develop a tool for students to give constructive feedback to their teachers. Read more>

New Orleans Closures Hurt Low-Income & ELL Students

VAYLA Ten New Orleans schools in the Recovery School District are slated to be closed or replaced by charter schools in the coming year. Here is an update from the Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association (an OTL ally) about which students these closures are hurting the most. Read more>

NYC's College Prep Crisis – And What to Do About It

The Village Voice New York City is caught in a college prep crisis. Budget cuts and pressure to perform well on high-stakes tests is limiting the ability of K-12 public schools to prepare students for college. This puts a financial strain on new college students who must spend precious tuition dollars on remedial classes re-learning what they should have been taught for free in high school. The City University of New York is pioneering a way to fix the problem. Read more>

Out of School & Off Track – The Overuse of Suspensions

Out of School and Off Track This new report from the UCLA's Civil Rights Project is a one stop shop for all the school discipline data advocates need to fight the overuse of out-of-school suspensions. It breaks down data from over 26,000 middle and high schools by district, race, gender, elementary/secondary school level, English language learner status, and disability status. Read more>
  • "Willful Defiance" Shouldn't Get You Suspended: A groundbreaking school board resolution in the Los Angeles Unified School District would prevent school administrators from suspending students for talking back or other acts of "willful defiance." If the resolution passes, it will be the first such ban in CA and would mark an important milestone in the movement to end harsh school discipline policies. Read more>
  • Take "Guns in Schools" Off the Policy Table: After the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, 36 states considered legislation that would put more police and guns in schools. Jeff Bryant, from the Education Opportunity Network, details how these new "school safety" measures are actually further endangering students and contributing to the school-to-prison pipeline. Read more>

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