OTL Campaign Newsletter 
May 30, 2012
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Check out the great education panels lined up for Netroots Nation on June 7th-10th! Panelists include Diane Ravitch and John Jackson.

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OTL HIGHLIGHTS
Billy Easton AQE
NY ED CRISIS THREATENS STATE'S ECONOMY
"Education insolvency" is becoming increasingly likely for New York schools as budget cuts and local revenue caps drain resources from school districts. In a hard-hitting New York Times op-ed column, Billy Easton, Executive Director of Alliance for Quality Education (a group on the frontlines of the fight to secure equitable funding for all NY students), criticizes the state's education policy, which has left school districts high and dry and is creating a looming, state-wide economic crisis. Read more >

AACF Report
AR PRE-K INCREASES STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT
Numerous national groups, including the National OTL Campaign, have made access to quality early childhood education a crucial part of their campaigns. This report, from Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, provides further evidence that pre-K programs can make a significant difference in a child's long-term academic success. The report is especially important as it shows the marked increase in student achievement as a result of a 2003 state law which established the Arkansas Better Chance for School Success program for three- and four-year-old children who live in families with incomes less than 200 percent of the federal poverty line. Read more>

CQE Rally
STUDENTS & PARENTS RALLY IN SACRAMENTO
For almost 10 years, members of the CA-based Campaign for Quality Education (CQE) have held an annual rally in Sacramento on behalf of high-quality education for all students regardless of family income or ethnicity. Over 200 students, parents and community organizers attended CQE's Education "Day of Action" in early May. They marched around the capitol, gave speeches, and met with legislative staffers to encourage them to consider a weighted school funding formula proposal from CA Governor Jerry Brown that would allocate more money to districts with a larger percentage of low-income students and English language learners. Read more>

Pedro Noguera and John Jackson
WHY EDUCATION INEQUALITY PERSISTS
You can't expect a child to pass a swim test if you knowingly relegate him to a pool where the water has been drained. Persistent inequities in educational opportunities have relegated thousands of New York City children to schools drained of resources. In a must-read column Pedro Noguera, the Peter L. Agnew professor of education at New York University, and John H. Jackson, President and CEO of the Schott Foundation for Public Education, criticize the policies and practices that have allowed these inequities to persist and outline the steps policymakers need to take in order to fix them. Read more>

Doesn't Stand for Children
GROUP ABANDONS MA GRASSROOTS MEMBERS
In a powerful open letter, former members of Stand for Children's Massachusetts chapter condemn the organization's transformation from a grassroots community group into a front organization through which corporate interests can push for the privatization of public education. Because they fear that a MA ballot initiative pushed by Stand would "drive some of our best teachers from the schools that need them most," they are urging MA voters to oppose the ballot measure. Read more>

Gov. Cuomo
'THROWING A GRENADE' AT PUBLIC EDUCATION
AQE and other NY groups are battling New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's education policy, which Times Union columnist Fred LeBrun says consists of "throwing a hand grenade at a thorny problem, walking away, and seeing who and what survives." In his blistering critique, LeBrun says of Cuomo, "Right from the start of his administration, he's used the wrong tactics, the wrong strategies and the wrong sequences if he had any intention of actually elevating New York's public education system and giving especially stressed urban and rural school districts a much-needed boost."
Read more>

RESOURCES

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DOES YOUR SCHOOL USE ITS RESOURCES FAIRLY?
Designed by the Appleseed Network, the Resource Equity Assessment Document (READ) can help school boards and communities measure the distribution of educational resources within and between districts. In so doing, they can engage in comparative assessment of problem spots and points of pride. How are your local schools doing? Read more>

IN THE NEWS
  • Closing Schools Doesn't Save Students: For NYC parent organizer Zakiyah Ansari, the legacy of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration is "one of a lack of resources and persistent inequalities that deny our children a substantive and fair opportunity to learn." Read more>

  • Charter Schools Are Not Public Schools: What concerns Diane Ravitch the most about the rise of charter schools is that while they can pick and chose their students, public schools take in all the remaining students who couldn't get into the charters or got kicked out. In other words, the rise of charters is creating dual, and unequal, school systems. Read more>

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National Opportunity to Learn Campaign
675 Massachusetts Avenue, 8th Floor | Cambridge, MA 02139
www.otlcampaign.org | info@otlcampaign.org | 617-876-7700

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