OTL Campaign Newsletter 
May 3, 2012
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UPCOMING EVENTS

NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON
SCHOOL DIVERSITY

National Conference on School Diversity
Advancing the Legacy of
Mendez and Brown

May 17 - Washington, DC
Register today!


GIRLS FOR GENDER EQUITY


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GGE is celebrating a decade of women and girls' leadership at the Brookly Historical Society in NY on June 14th.

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OTL HIGHLIGHTS
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Endorse the National Resolution on High-Stakes Testing!
A coalition of national education, civil rights and parents groups released the National Resolution on Hight-Stakes Testing to urge policymakers to decrease the emphasis given to standardized test scores as measures of student success and teacher effectiveness. The National OTL Campaign has endorsed the resolution, and so should you! The resolution calls for policymakers to "reexamine public school accountability systems in this state, and to develop a system based on multiple forms of assessment which does not require extensive standardized testing." Read more >

PA bake sale
Chicago Students Win Voice in Teacher Evaluations
At the National OTL Summit in December, student representatives from Chicago and Boston connected and discovered they were working on similar campaigns to make student feedback a part of teacher evaluations. The Boston students won their fight last summer, and so last month Boston representatives flew to Chicago to help VOYCE spread the word that if the model works in one city, it can work in another. Due to student organizing, the Chicago Public Schools announced that its new teacher evaluation system will include a pilot for student feedback at all CPS high schools.
Read more>

john jackson
Tackle Poverty to Provide Meaningful Opportunity
It's time to take back the 'no excuses' mantra. We know that poverty has a serious impact on a child's opportunity to learn. And we know that making sure every student has access to health care, early childhood education, summer enrichment programs, counseling services, etc. will close achievement gaps. In his Huffington Post column, Dr. John Jackson, President and CEO of the Schott Foundation for Public Education, argues that there's no excuse for not providing these programs and services and fostering a Broader, Bolder approach to education reform.
Read more>

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YUC Launches "Safe to Count on Me Campaign"
Dust off your cameras because Youth United for Change is looking for some short video submissions for their newest campaign! The Philadelphia-based youth advocacy group has launched the "Safe to Count on Me Campaign," which aims fight the negative portrayal of young people in Philadelphia and eliminate zero-tolerance discipline policies. Harsh discipline policies promote fear, not respect, of youth and students, and push kids out of school and into the juvenile criminal justice system.
Read more>


Who's Killing Philly Public Schools?
Philadelphia's public school system is on the edge of a precipice, hammered by budget cuts from Harrisburg and an influx of market-based "reform" agendas. This disturbing investigative piece by Daniel Denvir of Philly's City Paper shines a light on the often shadowy forces and political process at work — and should be a wake-up call for education advocates in every community: if it can happen here, it can happen anywhere.
Read more>


RESOURCES

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Access Denied: New Orleans Students and Parents Identify Barriers to Public Education
While school officials boast of innovation and declare success in reforming the New Orleans public education system, this new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center shows that the reality for many students remains grim. Far too many New Orleans students struggle to merely access public education. Others languish in schools that are ill-equipped to meet their needs and recognize their strengths. Schools subject children to brutal and coldly punitive environments. Education reformers cannot claim genuine victory in New Orleans without remedying the systemic failures described within this report.  Read more>

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Exclusionary Zoning Denies Quality Ed to Poor
It costs almost $11,000 more per year to live near high-quality schools than low-quality schools. This "housing cost gap," which is the result of exclusionary zoning policies, means that low-income students are less likely to attend good schools, thereby denying them access to the educational opportunities they need to succeed and escape poverty. This Brookings Institution report includes an interactive map of that breaks down housing costs and demographic statistics for 100 major metropolitan areas. How does your city measure up?  Read more>


IN THE NEWS
  • The Problem is Bigger Than a Pineapple: A confusing question (involving an anthropomorphic pineapple racing a hare) on a New York state standardize test went viral last week and illustrates the absurdity of gaging student achievement and teacher effectiveness with imperfect tests and imprecise scores. Read more>
     
  • Sorry kids, can't afford you: New York state fights yet another lawsuit over school aid. No matter what the judgment, kids are bound to lose. Sometimes the winners in a lawsuit are also the losers, and they lose long before the judge renders a decision in their supposed favor. Read more>
     
  • Low-Income MA Students More Likely Put In Special Education: 17 percent of MA students are enrolled in special education programs, and a report commissioned by the state found that low-income students are more likely to be diagnosed with learning disabilities.  Read more>

  • CT Policymakers Ignore Classroom Inequities: In a column for the CT Post, Wendy Lecker criticizes the Governor's Malloy's plan to give direct control of 25 of the state's most struggling schools to the education comissioner rather than working to solve the inequities that are causing the schools to struggle in the first place. Read more>


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