The Raise Your Hand Campaign is a student-led research initiative in New Orleans schools that pulled together student testimony and research from 6 different public high schools and examined the opportunities, or lack thereof, available to students in the years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. The report examines everything from teaching quality and student support services to physical environment and school food, and gives each school a report card and recommendations for improvement.
A growing body of research shows that the typical six-hour school day just doesn’t cut it for many students. Too many schools lack the time and funds for arts, recess or inquiry-driven projects that inspire a life-long love of learning and provide skills needed to be competitive in the 21st century.
The challenges and needs are particularly dramatic in low-income communities where students are the most likely to be behind grade level and who stand to benefit most from additional learning time.
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.
If there's one thing we can all agree on in the midst of budget slashing and a limping economic recovery, it's that kids who go to preschool are better prepared to start learning in school and stand a better chance of graduating and achieving at high levels.
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.
More than 20 million students in the United States are below proficient in reading and math and barred from the educational opportunities that will lead to success.
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.
Speaking of school closures, here's an update on the effects of closures on students, parents and communities in New Orleans from the Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association (VAYLA), an OTL ally.
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!