Great news coming out of Arkansas on the school discipline front! After being approved by the legislature, a bill is heading to the governor's desk that will make big changes in how the state gathers, examines and acts on school discipline data.
A new report from UCLA's Civil Right Project is a one stop shop for all the school discipline data advocates or organizers needto fight the overuse of out-of-school suspensions. Out of School & Off Track uses data from over 26,000 U.S. middle and high schools for the 2009-2010 academic year and breaks it down by district, race, gender, elementary/secondary school level, English language learners, and disability status.
This is an incredibly useful and powerful report – download it here!
In the past five years, Arkansas has been deliberately and successfully moving toward a juvenile justice system that relies less on confinement and more on holistic, community-based approaches that effectively engage youth in constructive life choices. This report describes Arkansas's success in juvenile justice reform to date and summarizes the steps still needed to best serve Arkansas youth and their communities.
A report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, "Reducing Youth Incarceration in the United States" finds that "a sea change is underway in our nation's approach to dealing with young people who get in trouble with the law." Though the US still leads the industrialized world in youth incarceration rates, that rate is declining rapidly and has dropped more than 40 percent over a 15-year period.
Arkansas OTL Campaign Holds Education Advocacy Day
Over 200 Organizers, Advocates & Policymakers Defend Public Schools
Ahead of it's February 20th Advocacy Day in Little Rock, AR, the Arkansas OTL Campaign released this fantastic flier highlighting the progress the state has made in the past decade by adhering to sound education policy and the dangers of new proposals aimed at privatizing the state's public school system. Check it out!
Black students in Arkansas schools are more likely to be suspended and receive corporal punishment than their white counterparts, according to this new state-level analysis from Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (AACF). School disciplinary policies that disproportionately keep students of color out of school reduce their opportunities to learn and increase gaps in educational achievement. This report is evidence that Arkansas schools rely far too often on disciplinary approaches that bar students from the classroom.
On February 27th, the Opportunity to Learn Campaign will be hosting a webinar on racial justice with the Applied Research Center, an OTL ally. The webinar will provide advocates and organizers with valuable tools for framing and combating racial disparities in our nation's education system. Sign up here!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 30, 2013
Contact: Bill Kopsky
On November 30th, our allies in Arkansas gathered in Little Rock for the Arkansas Opportunity to Learn Summit, a fantastic weekend of trainings, workshops and networking for over 200 organizers and advocates. A big thank you to everyone who turned out! And for those of you who couldn't join, read on for a recap of the summit and pictures!