OTL Campaign Newsletter 
June 13, 2012
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PBS Newshour

Diane Ravitch on PBS NewsHour:
Teachers Are 'Caught in the Crossfire' Over Student Achievement

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OTL HIGHLIGHTS

Read - and comment on - these CNN columns by OTL allies!

Rev. Jesse Jackson
EDUCATION FOR ALL IS A "MORAL IMPERATIVE"
Providing every child with a fair and substantive opportunity to learn is nothing less than a moral imperative, writes Rev. Jesse Jackson in a must-read column for CNN. As parent and student organizers across the country know all too well, today's education policies, which push competition and privatization, are not sufficient for "addressing the structural inequities that make separate and unequal education a persistent fact of life in America today." Read more>

John Kuhn
GETTING EDUCATION REFORM RIGHT
Today's education policy is "merely treating the fever we see and ignoring the cancer that causes it," writes John Kuhn, a Texas superintendent, in another powerful CNN column. Kuhn cites the National Opportunity to Learn Campaign's "2020 Vision Roadmap: A Pre-K Through Postsecondary Blueprint for Educational Success" as the vision to lead the systemic change needed in our public schools in order to provide every student with the opportunites and resources they need to succeed. Read more>

NYC Rally for Discipline Reform
NYC STUDENTS RALLY FOR DISCIPLINE REFORM
Over 100 student advocates from groups like the Dignity in Schools Campaign, D.R.U.M., Make the Road New York, and the Urban Youth Collaborative rallied last week at a public hearing held by the NYC Department of Education. The DOE announced a new draft of the Discipline Code that limits the minor infractions for which students can be suspended. Students argued that the reforms must go further to stop the criminalization of youth and keep students in school. Read more>

Netroots Nation
HOW TO STOP THE WAR ON PUBLIC EDUCATION
A rock star panel at Netroots Nation, including education historian Diane Ravitch, John H. Jackson, President and CEO of the Schott Foundation for Public Education, and Ken Bernstein, a long-time teacher and advocate, tackled the future of public education, the importance of community organizing and the path towards systemic education reform to provide every child with an opportunity to learn. Read more>

WI OTL
THE CRISIS FACING WISCONSIN'S STUDENTS
Wisconsin's school funding system is "too complicated, too riddled with holes and too wrapped up in politics to do its job," writes Thomas Beebe, Project Manager for Opportunity to Learn - Wisconsin. Two important steps will go a long way towards reforming the state's broken funding system, providing students with the resources they need, and strengthening the state's economy and society. Read more>

Southern Poverty Law Center
AN END TO HARSH DISCIPLINE IN JACKSON, MS
Following a lawsuit settlement reached between Southern Poverty Law Center and the Jackson, MS public school district, students will no longer be subjected to a brutal discipline policy that included handcuffing students to railings and poles for hours on end as punishment for offenses as minor as dress code violations.  Read more>

Andrea Lopez
YOUTH VOICE: INEQUITIES IN MY SCHOOL
Andrea Lopez, a confident, studious 17-year-old high school student in California, sat down in an SAT prep class only to realize how underprepared she felt with the material compared to the wealthier, white students in the class. In a powerful column for LA Youth that has been picked up in newspapers and blogs across the Web, Andrea writes about how our nation's education system is fraught with inequities that put poor students and students of color at an unfair disadvantage. Read more>

RESOURCES

Chronic Absenteeism
CHRONIC ABSENTEEISM HURTS ACHIEVEMENT
Roughly 1 in every 10 U.S. students are chronically absent from the classroom, meaning they miss 10 percent or more of the school year. This chronic absenteeism increases achievement gaps at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, particularly for low-income students. This report, from the Everyone Graduates Center, identifies the causes of students' long term absence from the classroom (including illness, housing instability, and involvement in the juvenile justice system) and details the dire consequences. Read more>

IN THE NEWS
  • PA Parents Sue to Stop School Closure: A group of parents in Pennsylvania filed a federal lawsuit to stop the planned closure of a local school. The parents criticize the school district for not first trying to remedy underlying problems, such as putting inexperienced teachers in low-income classrooms, before moving to privatize the public school system. Read more>

  • NYC Budget Cuts Create After-School Crisis: As education budgets are slashed, after-school programs are cut. In NYC, those programs have provided vital services for students, but now communities and the city will lose out on those benefits as the programs are shut down. 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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