The Arkansas OTL Campaign has had an eventful first year and has drawn wide attention to a variety of education issues from fair funding to school discipline. A report from Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (AACF), an AR OTL member, details the impact and success advocates have had in pushing for systemic change and opportunity for all.
Charter schools get a lot of hype in our nation's education debate, yet proponents of charter expansion consistently overlook serious issues with how these schools can selectively shape their student enrollment.
Today is the 59th anniversary of the historic Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court decision. Almost six decades later, students, parents, teachers and advocates across the country are still fighting against education policies that leave students of color and low-income students deprived of the resources and opportunities they need to succeed.
The National Education Policy Center's new book "Closing the Opportunity Gap" offers a wide array of policy recommendations for closing the opportunity gap and ensuring all students have the resources they need to succeed. This policy guide distills the most important recommendations from the book at three different levels: at the level of students' individual needs, at the level of in-school opportunities and resources, and at the level of communities and neighborhoods.
In his second inaugural address, President Barack Obama returned repeatedly to the theme of "we the people" and the ever-more-inclusive nature of that "we" in our nation.
The National Center for Education Policy (NEPC), an OTL ally, has a new, must-read book about the change our nation needs to make from thinking about the achievement gap to trying to fix the opportunity gap that underlies it.
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.