The OTL Campaign's official blog
Thursday July 26th, 2012

The 2012 version of the Annie E. Casey Foundation's annual "KIDS COUNT Data Book" provides a wealth of information about the well-being of our nation's children, including state-by-state data on educational opportunities, economic security, access to healthcare and family and community environments. The report illustrates the deep disparities between children of color and their White peers and between children from wealthy and low-income families in access to the opportunities and supports necessary to succeed in school and in life. Overall, the report finds that a higher percentage of students of color are living in poverty, not attending preschool, not graduating on time and don't have health insurance compared to non-Hispanic White children.

Wednesday July 25th, 2012

Youth advocates from Lowell, MA, are leading the charge to lower the voting age in municipal elections to 17 so that current students can have a say in the education policies affecting them. With a bill in committee at the State House and an outpouring of support from advocacy groups and policymakers across the state, members of the Vote 17 Lowell campaign are closer than any group every before to winning a voice for 17-year-olds in local politics.

Wednesday July 25th, 2012

In the National OTL Campaign's first webinar, we explored the issue of education redlining, in which bad policies systematically deny certain communities the educational resources and opportunities they need to prepare their children for success in school and in life. Attendees learned how to identify disparities in resources in their local schools with the help of a variety of tools, and we discussed strategies for bringing their research to the attention of the local media, policymakers and advocacy groups. 

 

Tuesday July 24th, 2012

In a clear case of education redlining, a much smaller percentage of students of color in Fairfax County, VA, are identified as gifted compared to their white peers, meaning fewer are given access to the advanced programs and resources necessary to gain admission to prestigious schools. In response, The Coalition of the Slience, a local advocacy group, and the Fairfax chapter of the NAACP have filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education. 

Monday July 23rd, 2012

In difficult economic times, we as a nation need to provide all children, especially those in struggling communities, with access to the opportunities and resources they need to succeed in school and in life. In a CNN op-ed, Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III, Senior Pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, points to the National Opportunity to Learn Campaign's "2020 Vision Roadmap: A Pre-K Through Postsecondary Blueprint for Educational Success " as the systemic approach we need to reform our nation's education system and combat structural inequities.

Wednesday July 18th, 2012

Great news for school discipline activists in New Orleans! The Recovery School District, which oversees many of the city's schools, will soon begin curbing harsh discipline policies in all its schools, including charters, by limiting the number of offenses for which students can be expelled. 

Tuesday July 17th, 2012

Calling all parents, teachers, students and education activists! Join us on Tuesday, July 24th, at 2 p.m. for a free webinar on education redlining! Redlining is the unethical practice of limiting residents' access to vital services in certain communities. And it's happening in cities and schools across the country. We'll give you the tools and resources you need to assess where it's taking place and action steps you and other education justice advocates can take to expose redlining and put an end to it. Sign up today!

Friday July 13th, 2012

How's this for school choice? Of the hundreds of thousands of eligible Louisiana students who could have applied to the state's new voucher program ( which is backed by Gov. Bobby Jindal), 98 percent of them elected not to apply for a voucher. 

Thomas Beebe, Project Director, Opportunity to Learn - Wisconsin
Friday July 13th, 2012

One year of slight increases in state education aid isn't enough to make up for years of budget cuts and a property tax cap that limits the power of communities to help their local schools. Wisconsin needs to prioritize its children and its public schools, or else everyone will end up paying for it in the long run.

Wednesday July 11th, 2012

The children of immigrants - mostly Hispanic and almost all U.S. citizens - account for the majority of growth in Arkansas's child population in the last decade. So any discussion of the Arkansas' economic future must consider the challenges that children of immigrants face, including higher rates of poverty of school dropout and lack of access to health insurance. A new report from Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families outlines how those challenges affect the children of immigrants and the policy changes Arkansas can implement to improve the opportunities available to them.