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.
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.
This post originally appeared on Education Opportunity Network.
"A Perfect Storm: The Takeover of New Orleans Public Schools" is the first in series of short videos that reveals the real story behind the creation of the nation's first all charter school district. It details the illegal takeover and the academic failure of The Recover School District. The film, which was directed by Phoebe Ferguson and Dr. Raynard Sanders, features interviews with leaders in the New Orleans education community who were faced with the daunting task of reopening schools immediately following Hurricane Katrina.
The world watched in horror as Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and much of the Gulf Coast in 2005. But for New Orleans’ public school students, parents, and teachers, the tragedy of Katrina was just the beginning.
If you live in the Boston area, you should come see Gina Womack, Executive Director of Families and Friends of Louisiana's Incarcerated Children (FFLIC), speak tonight at Wheelock College about how to end the school-to-prison pipeline. FFLIC is a leading voice in the South for children, particularly those in or targeted by the juvenile justice system.
When 9-year-old Asean Johnson gave his now-famous, fiery speech last spring at a rally to protest the mass closure of 49 Chicago public schools, he drew enough national attention that his school, at least, was spared.
For parents to be involved in their child's education, it helps if they have access to things like enrollment information, report cards, parent-teacher conferences, major school events, disciplinary action, and student services. But non-English speaking parents don't always get that access because schools don't always provide translation services or translated materials, thereby limiting how much those parents can help and support their children.