The OTL Campaign Blog

Friday September 28th, 2012

Guess what the OTL Campaign won't be doing this weekend? That's right, we will not be taking our friends to see the premiere of Won't Back Down. The new film, which chronicles the fictional parent takeover of an underperforming school in Pittsburgh, is the latest creation of Walden Media, the same production firm responsible for Waiting for Superman. Here are 5 things you should know about the film.

Thursday September 27th, 2012

Last week, students, parents and education advocates from cities across the US converged on Washington, D.C., to protest school closures as part of Journey for Justice. A reporter from The Nation magazine rode with the Pennsylvania delegation in their bus caravan and interviewed student organizers throughout the entire event. The article is an inspiring look at what is driving these students to fight so passionately for their schools.

Wednesday September 26th, 2012

Join the Opportunity to Learn Campaign (along with members of the Dignity in Schools Campaign, our partner in the Solutions Not Suspensions initiative) for a 60-minute webinar on October 3rd to learn how you can go from outrage over harsh school discipline polices to movement building! This webinar will examine how student organizers in Philadelphia were able to collect necessary data, build their coalition, and win a decisive victory bringing about alternatives to out-of-school suspensions.

Wednesday September 19th, 2012

The Urgency of Now: The Schott 50 State Report on Public Education and Black Males finds that almost half of Black and Latino males do not graduate high school in four years.  Without a policy framework that creates opportunity for all students, strengthens supports for the teaching profession and strikes the right balance between support-based reforms and standards-driven reforms, the U.S. will become increasingly unequal and less competitive in the global economy. Where does your state rank? Visit to learn more!

Wednesday September 19th, 2012

Students, parents, teachers and other education advocates across the nation are fed up with school closures. And they're taking their protest to Washington, D.C this week! As Andre Dunbar, a student activist from the Philadelphia Student Union explains in a guest post on Anthony Cody's Education Week blog, "Journey for Justice" will take place on Thursday, September 20th. Buses will be arriving from Atlanta (GA), Boston (MA), Baltimore (MD), Chicago (IL), Cleveland (OH), Detroit (MI), Europa (MS), Hartford (CT), Kansas City (MO), Los Angeles (CA), New Orleans (LA), Newark (NJ), New York City (NY), Oakland (CA), Philadelphia (PA), and Wichita (KS), and advocates will rally at the U.S. Department of Education.

Tuesday September 18th, 2012

Grassroots advocates working to reform school discipline are on a roll! The latest victory comes from the Recovery School Districts in New Orleans, which will no longer suspend students for minor misbehaviors (like uniform violations) thanks to the organizing efforts of groups like Families and Friends of Louisiana's Incarcerated Children (FFLIC), a member of the Dignity in Schools Campaign, and other allies. New Orleans joins Philadelphia and New York City in implementing new discipline policies that seek to keep students in the classroom rather than pushing them out of school.

Tuesday September 18th, 2012

As part of NBC's annual Education Nation event in New York City, Melissa Harris-Perry is hosting the Student Town Hall on Sunday, September 23rd. And she wants to hear from students and youth organizers across the country about how they would improve their schools! We know there are some fantastic young organizers involved in the OTL Campaign and our allied organizations, so we wanted to tip you off about this great opportunity to get your voice in the national media. Just upload or record a short YouTube video talking about how you would fix America's schools so that all students have a fair and substantive opportunity to learn. Submit yours today, we can't wait to watch them!

Monday September 17th, 2012

For the second year in a row, the Boston Parent Organizing Network (BPON) held a successful Youth Summer Initiative, training a new group of students to be advocates for education in their local communities. BPON, an OTL ally, works to organize parents and families who are marginalized (whether by race, class, language, disability or immigration status) to ensure quality educational opportunities for all students. During the Youth Summer Initiative, students and youth organizers, ages 13-18, received training on issues like the Boston Public Schools Code of Conduct, peer leadership and grassroots organizers.

Friday September 14th, 2012

Along with the teachers flooding the streets of Chicago to defend students' access to quality educational opportunities are students and OTL allies from Voice of Youth in Chicago Education. They've been protesting and rallying all week, and have been updating their Facebook page with some spectacular pictures, including an entire album from Day 1 of the Teachers' strike on Monday.

Jitu Brown, Education Organizer, Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO)
Friday September 14th, 2012

As a public school parent, a community organizer and a proud resident of Chicago, I feel it important to set the record straight by telling you why many like-minded Chicagoans like me are supporting the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU). You need to know the real reasons why we choose to walk the line.

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