The OTL Campaign Blog

Monday January 28th, 2013

California Governor Jerry Brown has made education equity a priority this year, what with his budget increase for education and a proposed weighted funding formal that sends more money to low-income districts. In his State of the State address Brown made a strong case for fair funding and equitable access to opportunity (what the OTL Campaign calls supports-based reform) and criticized the high-stakes testing and accountability that are hallmarks of today's standards-based reform movement.

By Tom Beebe, Opportunity to Learn - Wisconsin
Friday January 25th, 2013

Have you ever felt that you fell through the looking glass hand-in-hand with Alice to a place where up is down, north is really south, and wrong is actually right? If you watched Governor Scott Walker’s State of the State message on Tuesday you might very well have felt you were in Wonderland where everything you know in your heart of hearts is wrong for kids and public schools was talked about as a viable education reform strategy.

Friday January 25th, 2013

"Get tough" school discipline policies aren't doing anything to make our schools safer. In fact, they're creating a school-to-prison pipeline and exacerbating the school pushout crisis that is drastically curtailing access to educational opportunities for students of color. In a powerful op-ed, Derrick Johnson, President of the Mississippi State Conference NAACP, and Gina Womack, Executive Director of Families and Friends of Louisiana's Incarcerated Children, write that what we need instead is to "get smart" with school discipline policies.

Friday January 25th, 2013

Meridian, MS, has been in the news often over the past several months for it's horrendous school-to-prison pipeline. But the sad reality is that the injustices committed there – the heavy and unequal punishments levied for minor offenses, the absurd amount of police involvement in school discipline, the denial of due process rights to students – are happening across the state. A new report from our allies at the Mississippi NAACP, the ACLU, and the Advancement Project reveals that "Mississippi is mired in an extreme school discipline crisis."

Friday January 18th, 2013

Hot on the heels of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's announcement of increased funding for early childhood education (ECE), Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is calling for universal pre-K and a historic investment in the state's early learning programs.

Friday January 18th, 2013

Our allies at Opportunity to Learn – Wisconsin will be hosting an exciting panel at the 92nd annual Wisconsin Education Convention in Milwaukee! It's a fantastic chance for educators to learn about the state's OTL Campaign and the types of supports and policies students need to succeed. The Convention will take place Thursday, Jan. 24th at the Delta Center

Wednesday January 16th, 2013

Just as Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick unveiled a new education spending plan that calls for increased investment in and universal access to high-quality early childhood care and education (ECE), our allies at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center released a report on the decline in spending on ECE in the state over the past decade. Their report makes clear that while the governor deserves commendation for his new focus on ECE, there is a lot of ground to make up for when it comes to ensuring our youngest children enter school ready to succeed.

Wednesday January 16th, 2013

Hats off to California's chief deputy superintendent Richard Zeiger for standing up to the likes of StudentsFirst and calling his state's F rating from the organization a "badge of honor." We thought that was such a good idea, we've created a badge that every education advocate can display to show that students deserve better than what privatizers like Michelle Rhee and StudentsFirst have to offer.

Monday January 14th, 2013

Education Week has devoted a special section of its 2013 annual report to school discipline, chronicling the injustices and ineffectiveness of zero-tolerance and its connection to the school-to-prison pipeline, and highlighting the rising number of advocates and organizers trying to reform harsh discipline policies. And guess what? Our Solutions Not Suspensions initiative made it into the report!

Monday January 14th, 2013

As other states have made cuts in education budgets that have had disastrous impacts on children and schools, California's governor is emerging as a champion of public education – and of equitable funding for the state's poorest districts.

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