The National Opportunity to Learn Campaign and the Dignity in Schools Campaign Launch National Initiative on School Discipline
The Dignity in Schools Campaign Model Code on Education and Dignity presents a set of recommended policies to schools, districts and legislators to help end school pushout and protect the human rights to education, dignity, participation and freedom from discrimination. The Code is the culmination of several years of research and dialogue with students, parents, educators, advocates and researchers who came together to envision a school system that supports all children and young people in reaching their full potential.
Thanks to the advocacy work of students, parents and communities across Massachusetts, a new law signed by Gov. Deval Patrick will give suspended or expelled students access to educational resources like alternative schools, tutoring or online learning programs.
In her annual Message on Public Education, Jan Resseger, Minister for Public Education and Witness at the United Church of Christ Justice, denounces the privatization of public education as the abdication of our responsibilities as citizens of a democratic nation to provide all children with a fair and substantive opportunity to learn.
Citizens for Public Schools, a member of the Massachusetts OTL network, will be hosting acclaimed author Jonathan Kozol on September 19th, 2012 for their 30th Anniversary Lecture event. Kozol will be speaking at Memorial Church in Harvard Yard, Cambridge.
This report analyzes data from the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights on school discipline and suspensions in the 2009-10 school year to reveal the unconscionable disparities regarding which students are pushed out of the classroom through out-of-school suspensions.The source data covers 7,000 school districts and represents 85 percent of all public school students, making this report the first and most comprehensive analysis of the impact of out nation's school discipline policies.
17 percent of all African-American students received out-of-school suspensions in the 2009-2010 school year compared to 7 percent of Latino students and just 5 percent of White students. Even more shocking, 25 percent of African-American students with disabilities were suspended the same year.
Early reading skills lay the foundation for all later learning, which makes closing the achievement gap in early reading between students of color and their white peers and between students from low-income backgrounds and those from wealthier families particularly important. Thanks to the work of Massachusetts advocacy groups like Strategies for Children's Early Education for All campaign, MA policymakers are taking steps to close the state's achievement gap in third grade reading.
A group of teens from Lowell, MA, are leading the charge for the right to vote in their local municipal elections and have a say in the education policies affecting them. With a bill in committee at the State House, they've gotten closer to that goal than any group ever before.