The OTL Campaign Blog

Monday March 18th, 2013

Like most states, Pennsylvania's Constitution requires the state to provide students with access to a basic public education. And, like most states, there's a gap between what resources students need to get that promised basic education and what the state is actually funding. In a letter to Gov. Tom Corbett, education advocates from across the state, including several OTL allies, wrote that "the basic educational needs of Pennsylvania's children are not being met."

Friday March 15th, 2013

Despite the wealth of research showing that early learning and after-school programs help close the achievement gap by ensuring children are prepared to start school and continue to achieve once they're there, a report from NY OTL ally Campaign for Children shows how funding instability for these programs could lead to their collapse.

Jeff Bryant, Education Opportunity Network
Wednesday March 13th, 2013

Sold as a way to “empower” parents to improve the education attainment of their children, school choice initiatives take on many forms, including vouchers, “scholarships,” and tax credits. The most radical form of school choice is the so-called “parent trigger.” But rather then uniting parents in doing what’s best for children, the parent trigger bring deception, division and disruption to the community and leaves parents overwhelmed and powerless.

Friday March 8th, 2013

On Thursday night, Philadelphia's School Reform Commission (SRC) voted to close 23 schools, many of which have been chronically underfunded and starved of the resources and opportunities they need to serve their students. Hundreds of organizers and public educaiton advocates, including many OTL allies, staged a massive rally to protest the closures. Click through to read a statement from the Philadelphia Student Union.

Wednesday March 6th, 2013

Inequities between wealthy and low-income districts in New York has resulted in a gaping $8,601 per pupil spending gap. "Confronting the Opportunity Gap," a new report from the Alliance for Quality Education and the Public Policy and Education Fund, lays out how New York is a leader in educational inequity and how the state could go about reforming its education system to ensure access and opportunity for each and every student.

Wednesday March 6th, 2013

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center's new Children's Budget is an expansive database of government services and programs for children and their families that impact their access to high quality educational opportunities. Covering everything from early childhood education, fair funding, expanded learning time, healthcare, affordable housing and juvenile justice, this database is a potent tool worth replicating in other states, and it drives home the need for supports-based, not standards-based, education reform.

Monday March 4th, 2013

A national coalition of students of color and allies from around the country will hold a rally on the U.S. Capitol Grounds today to call on Congress to reject school safety policies that promote an increase in police, school resource officers (SRO’s) and armed guards in our nations’ public schools. They urge policymakers to instead focus on proven positive measures like positive behavior intervention and supports, social and emotional learning, restorative justice, and the hiring and training of counselors, social workers, and community intervention workers.

Friday March 1st, 2013

Thanks to all those who joined us for an exciting webinar this week with Terry Keleher and Jermaine Toney from the Applied Research Center! Here's a quick recap of what we discussed, tools for you to use in your advocacy and organizing work, and a video of the webinar to share!

By Steve Strieker, WI Teacher
Tuesday February 26th, 2013

Tying school funding to performance and making repeated allusions to the mythical Free Market Fairy don't constitute systemic, supports-based reform. That's a nonsensical proposal that presumes that staff in high-needs schools are failing because educators lack the motivation or know-how to help students succeed. Let's stop fooling ourselves and start provide students, teachers and schools with the resources and opportunities they need to succeed.

By Jeff Bryant, Education Opportunity Network
Tuesday February 26th, 2013

What happened this weekend in the Texas capital of Austin revealed a groundswell of resistance, from multiple political factions, against what has been heretofore defined as “education reform.” A rally brought thousands of people into the streets to hear education historian Diane Ravitch declare Texas, the place where reform “madness” started, would be where “the vampire gets … a stake in its heart.”

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