The OTL Campaign Blog

Tuesday October 16th, 2012

In a new report, the Alliance for Quality Education (one of our New York allies) criticizes the state's competitive grant program and says that by forcing schools to compete for funding rather than allocating that money to the schools that need it most, the state is creating a "system of education winners and losers" that denies struggling schools and their students a fair and substantive opportunity to learn.

Monday October 15th, 2012

Who better to talk about the challenges and opportunities young women of color face in education than the young women themselves? As part of an ongoing project, the Centers for Women partnered with Boston-based Teen Voices to produce a short video series featuring teens "as the experts and agents of their own learning experiences, offering examples of effective strategies and solutions for closing the opportunity gap." The goal of the project is to promote public discourse about barriers to educational equity for girls of color and push for change in education policy and practice.

Thursday October 11th, 2012

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe has declared October to be Arkansas Advocacy & Organizing Month, and the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation has joined with grassroots organizing groups and advocacy organizations (many of whom we're proud to partner with in the Arkansas Opportunity to Learn Campaign) to celebrate the positive impact advocacy has on communities and the change it can inspire.

Wednesday October 10th, 2012

A report from the Civil Rights Project at the University of California Los Angeles documents the dramatic resegregation of our nation's schools in the past two decades. Students of color face a "double segregation by both race and poverty," and as a result, a disproportionate number of students of color and low-income students are increasingly denied access to high quality educational resources and opportunities.

Tuesday October 9th, 2012

Wisconsin Superintendent Tony Evers met with educators, students, parents, and community members in Milwaukee to discuss “what to expect when you’re expecting more budget cuts.” He stressed the "three R's of fair funding" (reinvesting, reforming and restoring) and said that until the state prioritizes children and begins reinvesting in their education, the economy will remain sluggish.

Susan Gobreski, Executive Director, Education Voters of Pennsylvania
Friday October 5th, 2012

Public resources belong to the broader community. We ask people who don't drive to pay for roads and people who have a house that isn't burning to pay for the fire department. "Parent trigger" laws, which enable parents of current public schools students to "take over" a school (usually to turn it over to a private charger management company), deny the rest of the community a voice. Instead of privatizing our schools, parents should work with teachers to demand change by fighting for equitable resources for their schools so that all students have a fair and substantive opportunity to learn.

Thursday October 4th, 2012

The OTL Campaign held its second webinar this week, this time exploring how advocates can use data documenting unconscionable disparities in access to educational resources to connect with allies and build a movement for change. It was an exciting and inspiring discussion! We spoke to Hiram Rivera, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Student Union, and Dan Losen, Director of UCLA's Civil Rights Project. Check out the resources we discussed and listen to a recording of the webinar!

Thursday October 4th, 2012

A new study from the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) finds that only 20 percent of Boston Public School students are enrolled in high quality schools, and access to those schools is unequally distributed across the city's student assignment zones. Students of color, in particular, are shortchanged, with Black students having just a 1 in 10 chance of enrolling in a high quality school compared to their white peers who have a 1 in 3 chance.

Wednesday October 3rd, 2012

The new union-bashing, pro-privatization Walden Media film, Won't Back Down, set a new box office record for worst opening weekend ever. That's hardly surprising when you consider how parents led protests at the film's red carpet premiere, critics widely condemned the film as political propaganda, and thought leaders in the education reform debate called out the film for oversimplifying the complex issues facing our nation's public schools.

Wednesday October 3rd, 2012

A single standardized test is all that stands between New York City students and admission to some of the city's most elite public schools. Unfortunately, some students are left at a disadvantage in the application process, unable to afford the expensive test prep courses and private tutoring necessary to pass the exam. The NAACP has joined with a number of organizations (including many OTL Campaign allies) to file a federal complaint saying the test-based admissions process disproportionately excludes students of color.

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