While student enrollment in Massachusetts public schools is growing more diverse, the state's public schools are becoming increasingly segregated along race and class lines. The inequality of educational opportunities and outcomes is compounded when, as is usually the case, racially segregated schools are also schools of concentrated poverty. This report explores two decades of school segregation trends in the state and provides recommendations for policymakers and advocates.
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.
Warren Simmons, Executive Director of the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, has some advice for Boston's Mayor-Elect Marty Walsh: to improve the city's schools and ensure every student has a great education, he should focus on equity and providing access to a robust web of wraparound student supports.
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.
Over 350 students raised their voices against harsh school discipline policies at the third annual Listening Project in Boston. The event was hosted by the Boston Student Advisory Council (BSAC) and other members of the YOUNG Coalition including the Boston-area Youth Organizing Project and Youth on Board.
OTL ally Citizens for Public Schools will be hosting renowned education historian Diane Ravitch in Cambridge, MA on Oct. 24th. The event is part of a book tour for Ravitch's new book, Reign of Error, which is a must read for education advocates and organizers. The event starts at 7:30 p.m.
Youth organizers in Boston are hosting an Oct. 3rd Listening Project on school discipline. Share your views with them at Forest Hills, Ruggles, Roxbury Crossing, Jackson, and Ashmont MBTA stations.
Just over one year ago, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick signed the Chapter 222 legislation, a school discipline reform law requiring districts to revise their Codes of Conduct to issue suspensions and expulsions only as a last resort. Last week, Boston Public Schools (BPS) became the first district in the state to adopt a new Ch.