Illinois

The Color of School Closures

Posted on: Tuesday April 23rd, 2013

Mass school closings have become a hallmark of today's dominant education policy agenda. But rather than helping students, these closures disrupt whole communities. And as U.S. Department of Education data suggests, the most recent rounds of mass closings in Chicago, New York City, and Philadelphia disproportionately hurt Black and low-income students.

Mass school closings have become a hallmark of today's dominant education policy agenda. But rather than helping students, these closures disrupt whole communities. And as U.S. Department of Education data suggests, the most recent rounds of mass closings in Chicago, New York City and Philadelphia disproportionately hurt Black and low-income students. 

What can you do to end these discriminatory and unacceptable school closures?

Lost Opportunity 50 State Report

Publication Date: 
Wed, 2009-09-23
Type: 
Report

In Lost Opportunity: A 50 State Report on the Opportunity to Learn in America, the Schott Foundation for Public Education establishes a metric for determining the opportunity to learn for students. Providing a state-by-state comparison of both academic proficiency (percentage of students scoring at or above proficient on the eighth grade NAEP reading exam) and equity (as measured by the Schott Foundation’s Opportunity to Learn Index, or OTLI), Lost Opportunity identifies the four baseline minimum resources that are necessary for a child – regardless of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status – to have a fair and substantive Opportunity to Learn.

In the United States, every student should have the equal right to a high-quality education.  But as our most recent data demonstrates, for far too many students, quality and equity are aspirations, not realities.  Few states are providing public school educations that result in academic proficiency for students.  And even fewer states are providing access to a high-quality education to all students, particularly those from historically disadvantaged groups.

Groundbreaking School Discipline Bill Passes Illinois Legislature

Posted on: Thursday May 28th, 2015

Voice of Youth in Chicago Education deserves tremendous praise for their latest victory—passing a groundbreaking school discipline reform bill through the Illinois Legislature. By ending the use of "zero tolerance" policies and restricting administrators' use of suspensions and expulsions, VOYCE's bill will help make Illinois schools more welcoming environments for students.

Voice of Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE) deserves tremendous praise for their latest victory—passing a groundbreaking school discipline reform bill through the Illinois Legislature. This bill is sorely needed, as Chicago schools struggle with the overuse of harsh school disciplinary practices that are disproportionately levied against students of color.

Study Finds Disparities in School Discipline in Chicago

Posted on: Wednesday March 25th, 2015

A new study from the University of Chicago found that while the overall number of out-of-school suspensions has decreased, suspension rates for African American male students remain especially high. This study illustrates the importance of organizing groups like Voices of Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE), which just last week celebrated as a bill to end harsh school discipline advanced out of the Illinois Senate Education Committee.

US DOE To Investigate 3 Cities for Civil Rights Violations in School Closings

Posted on: Thursday October 23rd, 2014

In a victory for parents and students fighting mass school closures and charter school expansion, the U.S. Department of Education has opened civil rights investigations in Chicago, Newark and New Orleans after organizers filed federal complaints in May.


Journey for Justice National Director Jitu Brown at a 
rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court in May 2014. 
After the rally, organizers marched to the U.S. Dept.
of Justice to file the three civil rights complaints.

Illinois Requires Public Reporting of School Discipline Data

Posted on: Tuesday June 3rd, 2014

Thanks to the organizing work of Voices of Youth in Chicago Education, the Illinois legislature has passed a new law requiring public reporting of school discipline data. SB2793 is a huge victory and a step toward ending the discriminatory use of suspensions and expulsions.

Thanks to the organizing work of Voices of Youth in Chicago Education, the Illinois legislature has passed a new law requiring public reporting of school discipline data. SB2793 is a huge victory and a step toward ending the discriminatory use of suspensions and expulsions. 

Chicago Parents, Teachers & Students Boycott State Test

Posted on: Tuesday March 4th, 2014

Parents, students and teachers at two Chicago public schools are taking a brave stand against the overuse of standardized testing.

Parents, students and teachers at two Chicago public schools are taking a brave stand against the overuse of standardized testing.

Like Our Infographics? Watch Journey for Justice in Action

Posted on: Friday February 7th, 2014

Parents, students and teachers across the country are fighting for equitable school resources, community solutions and an end to mass school closures. If you like our infographics on school closures, don't miss this video from our grassroots ally Journey for Justice.

Parents, students and teachers across the country are fighting for equitable school resources, community solutions and an end to mass school closures. If you've been following our series of infographics on school closures, you know that closures disproportionately affect students of color and students from low-income families.

Chicago Youth Organizer Featured in PBS Documentary

Posted on: Tuesday October 29th, 2013

Stephanie Alvarado, a youth leader with Voices of Youth in Chicago Education and the Southwest Organizing Project, is one of six Latino/a students featured in a new PBS documentary about the dropout crisis and its effect on low-income students of color.

Stephanie Alvarado, a youth leader with Voices of Youth in Chicago Education and the Southwest Organizing Project, is one of six Latino/a students featured in a new PBS documentary about the dropout crisis and its effect on low-income students of color. Learn more about the documentary, "The Graduates/Los Graduados," here on PBS!

Chicago Youth Organizer in New PBS Documentary

Publication Date: 
Tue, 2013-10-29

Stephanie Alvarado, a youth leader with Voices of Youth in Chicago Education and the Southwest Organizing Project, is one of six Latino/a students featured in a new PBS documentary about the dropout crisis and its effect on low-income students of color.

Stephanie Alvarado, a youth leader with Voices of Youth in Chicago Education and the Southwest Organizing Project, is one of six Latino/a students featured in a new PBS documentary about the dropout crisis and its effect on low-income students of color. Learn more about the documentary, "The Graduates/Los Graduados," here on PBS!

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