OTL Campaign Newsletter 
April 4, 2013
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cornerFEATURED VIDEO

Karen Lewis

CTU President Karen Lewis at the
Save Our Schools Rally in Chicago

UPCOMING EVENTS

Occupy the DOE 2

Occupy the DOE 2.0!
April 4th-6th in Washington, D.C.

Click here for details!


MS OTL

Mississippi OTL Conference
April 27th-28th in Jackson, MS
Click here for details!

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OTL HIGHLIGHTS

AAP Suspensions Are NOT What the Doctor Ordered
A new voice is chiming in to the school discipline debate. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently released a policy statement condemning the overuse of out-of-school suspensions and expulsions, and advocating instead for positive discipline polices and wraparound health and social services for all students. Read more>

AQE

AQE: Organizers Speak and Policymakers Listen!
The Alliance for Quality Education has been sounding the alarm on the devastating consequences of classroom cuts in New York over the last several years. Reacting to this year's state budget, AQE's Executive Director Billy Easton said, "What pleased us most about the public discussion of education this year was the growing awareness of how state funding decisions affect schools over a multi-year period. We are pleased that state officials, this year, finally started to listen." Read more>


Education Oppourtunity Network
Will Charter Schools Survive the Charter Movement?
By Jeff Bryant, Education Opportunity Network
America's education policies are brimming with contradictions, particularly when it comes to charter schools. While the intent of some charter backers may have once been for educators and parents in a community to create a different learning space for students who werenít being well served, thatís all changed now. Charters have instead ventured into a brave new world of a movement contradictory to the ends it purports to serve. Read more>

MA Youth at State House
MA Youth Organizers: Invest in Ed and Transportation
Hundreds of young people from across Massachusetts convened at the State House to represent their communities in this year's fight for state funding, calling for investments in education, transportation and infrastructure financed by progressive revenue proposals. Young people from Lexington to Boston, from Lowell to Arlington and beyond visited their representatives to share their personal stories and explain the importance of more state funding. Read more>

Juvenile Justice in AR
Juvenile Justice in AR: Building on Success
In the past five years, Arkansas has been successfully moving toward a juvenile justice system that relies less on confinement and more on holistic, community-based approaches that effectively engage youth in constructive life choices. A new report from Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (a member of the Arkansas OTL Campaign) describes the state's success in juvenile justice reform to date and summarizes the steps still needed to best serve Arkansas youth and their communities. Read more>

WI OTL

How-To: Talk to Legislators & Defend Public Schools
By Tom Beebe, Opportunity to Learn - Wisconsin
Itís no longer good enough just to know that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walkerís 2013-15 budget proposal is bad for students and the state's public schools. Members of the public need to spread the word and talk to their legislators in order to defend public education and promote real reform solutions. This How-To provides talking points and a list of opportunities to make your voice heard in the budget debate. Read more>


Monique Morris
Searching for Girls in the School-to-Prison Pipeline
In a school discipline discussion that's focused primarily on the plight of young men of color, girls are being overlooked. Writing for the National Council on Crime & Delinquency, Monique Morris, a leading voice for gender equity in school discipline, says that we need specific policy supports for young women that prevent them from being pushed down the school-to-prison pipeline.
Read more>

Resources

United Opt Out
The Ultimate Toolkit to Fight High-Stakes Testing
In advance of "Occupy the DOE 2.0: The Battle for Public Education," taking place April 4th through 6th, check out this toolkit from United Opt Out about high-stakes testing and how our national obsession with test scores is harming schools, teachers and students. The toolkit includes talking points, research, sample op-eds, tips for writing columns for your local paper, and flyers for parents and advocates to distribute.†Read more>

IN THE NEWS
  • Standardized Tests Are Causing a Racket, Literally: Atlanta public school officials are facing charges of racketeering for falsifying students' standardize test scores. Writing in the Washington Post, columnist Eugene Robinson says that our nation's "blind obsession with test scores" de-professionalizes teachers and "reduces students to the leavings of a No. 2 pencil." Read more>
     
  • Instead of Closing Schools, How About This?: In the uproar following the announcement that 54 Chicago schools will be closed, it's worth debunking some of the myths officials use to justify school closures and ask instead what kinds of investments would turn "underperforming" or "under-enrolled" schools into engaging and effective community institutions. Read more>

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National Opportunity to Learn Campaign
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