The OTL Campaign Blog

Tuesday August 21st, 2012

With public schools in Pennsylvania taking blow after blow from budget cuts and policymakers bent on privatizing the state's education system, the state needs strong advocates for its schools now more than ever. Education Voters of Pennsylvania, an OTL Campaign ally, will be hosting an all-day Advocate Summit on Sept. 22nd. Come to the event and learn about education policy in PA and how to organize in your local community. We need your passion and your voice to ensure all students have a fair and equitable opportunity to learn!

Monday August 20th, 2012

In New York City's elite public high schools, students of color make up a tiny percentage of the student body, despite the large number of students of color living in the city. Why? Admission for elite schools like Stuyvesant High School is determined by a challenging standardized test, which requires countless hours of (and money for) tutoring in preparation. As New York 4 News shows, the test effective bars gifted low-income students, many of whom are from communities of color, from gaining admission to these elite schools simply because they lack access to the services and opportunities they need to do well on the exam.

Monday August 20th, 2012

Thanks to the advocacy work of students, parents and communities across Massachusetts, a new law signed by Gov. Deval Patrick will give suspended or expelled students access to educational resources like alternative schools, tutoring or online learning programs. It will also require school districts to report data on suspensions and expulsions to the state in order to better identify disparities in which students are being pushed out of school and denied the resources and opportunities they need to learn.

Thursday August 16th, 2012

In her annual Message on Public Education, Jan Resseger, Minister for Public Education and Witness at the United Church of Christ Justice, denounces the privatization of public education as the abdication of our responsibilities as citizens of a democratic nation to provide all children with a fair and substantive opportunity to learn. The 10-page Message also functions as a primer on how different aspects of the privatization movement (from vouchers to education management organizations to charters and online schools) are undermining the principles of fairness and opportunity that our country holds so dear.

Tuesday August 14th, 2012

The Southern Poverty Law Center is taking five Florida school districts to task by filing federal complaints with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights against the districts' "unforgiving disciplinary policies [that] are cutting short the futures of countless African-American students across Florida and the entire nation."

Tuesday August 14th, 2012

What in the name of reasonable policy solutions is wrong with the school officials, police departments, and juvenile justice systems operating the school-to-prison pipeline in east Mississippi? In a letter to state and local officials in Lauderdale County and the city of Meridian, the U.S. Department of Justice rebuked officials over the local school discipline policies for their egregious violations of students' rights.

Monday August 13th, 2012

The Juvenile Justice Project of Lousiana will be hosting its second annual fundraiser on Saturday, August 18. If you're in the area, make sure to go! There will be performances from The Treme Brass Band, The Hot 8 Brass Band, and Cucky C and Clearly Blue.

Susan Howe, FACE teacher, Monona Grove High School, WI
Friday August 10th, 2012

Susan Howe, a lifelong teacher in Wisconsin's public schools, has witnessed the heartbreaking disparities in access to educational resources and opportunities in her state firsthand. Here, she tells the touching stories of two new young teachers, her niece and her son, and how the disparities between their districts led one to succeed and one to resign. 

Thursday August 9th, 2012

Citizens for Public Schools, a member of the Massachusetts OTL network, will be hosting acclaimed author Jonathan Kozol on September 19th, 2012 for their 30th Anniversary Lecture event. Kozol will be speaking at Memorial Church in Harvard Yard, Cambridge. His new book, Fire in the Ashes: Twenty-Five Years Among the Poorest Children in American, will be available for purchase and signing by the author. Click here to register – we'll see you there!

Wednesday August 8th, 2012

The Pew Research Center's new report "The Rise of Residential Segregation by Income" analyzes 2010 Census data to reveal that the long-term rise in income inequality over the past several decades has led to a decrease in the number of mixed-income or middle-class neighborhoods in cities across the country. With more neighborhoods becoming either poorer or richer, and with public school funding systems that are predominantly based on local property taxes, the rise of income segregation is bad news for equity and opportunity in our nation's schools.