Minnesota

Community leadership key to school turnaround

Posted on: Monday October 31st, 2011

Tina Dove, Director, National Opportunity to Learn Campaign

The nation is not going to improve the educational outcomes and lifetime opportunities of its neediest citizens until we turn around our lowest-performing schools. The question has been – and remains: How do we do that? Under the federal School Improvement Grant program, the answer is for schools that are targeted for the grants to adopt one of four school improvement models, ranging from a purge of school leadership to closing the school. Communities for Excellent Public Schools and a growing list of community-based organizations in low-income communities of color across the country have signed a petition urging Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to consider a different solution to turn around schools and sustain improved performance.

The nation is not going to improve the educational outcomes and lifetime opportunities of its neediest citizens until we turn around our lowest-performing schools. The question has been – and remains: How do we do that?

Under the federal School Improvement Grant (SIG) program, the answer is for schools that are targeted for the grants to adopt one of four school improvement models, ranging from a purge of school leadership to closing the school.

Opportunity Gap Toolkit

Publication Date: 
Mon, 2011-10-31
Organization: 
National Opportunity to Learn Campaign
Type: 
Toolkit

From our Opportunity to Learn campaign, here is a primer on the opportunity gap, including an overview, talking points, key data and resources - all the tools you'll need to advocate for a fair and substantive opportunity to learn for all children.

Vouchers Toolkit

Publication Date: 
Mon, 2011-10-31
Organization: 
National Opportunity to Learn Campaign
Type: 
Toolkit

The National Opportunity to Learn Campaign has developed this toolkit on vouchers, a primer that includes an overview of the issue, talking points, key data and resources. This toolkit provides all the tools you need to advocate for investing in public education instead of diverting public funds to private and religious schools.

Education: escalator out of poverty

Posted on: Thursday October 27th, 2011

Tina Dove, Director, OTL Campaign

It’s no surprise that the voice of educational opportunity is spreading and growing louder as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Education has always been the bridge to prosperity and opportunity for Americans. And it still is: The unemployment rate for college graduates is less than half what it is for non-college graduates.

But the nation seems to have forgotten this.

It’s no surprise that the voice of educational opportunity is spreading and growing louder as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Education has always been the bridge to prosperity and opportunity for Americans. And it still is: The unemployment rate for college graduates is less than half what it is for non-college graduates.

But the nation seems to have forgotten this.

Effective teaching as a civil right

Posted on: Friday October 21st, 2011

No classroom factor is more important in the success of students than teachers. Unfortunately, that message often gets lost in today’s education debates. We are particularly concerned about the toll that the bashing of teachers, budget cuts, and pressure to produce test scores is taking on our nation’s teaching force.

No classroom factor is more important in the success of students than teachers. Unfortunately, that message often gets lost in today’s education debates. 

NO PLACE FOR KIDS: The Case for Reducing Juvenile Incarceration

Publication Date: 
Fri, 2011-10-21
Organization: 
Annie E. Casey Foundation
Type: 
Report

Putting young people in jail – particularly for nonviolent offenses – is a failed strategy, according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation that relied on decades of research and data. The report's most scathing findings include that youth incarceration does not reduce future offending; provides no overall benefit to public safety; wastes taxpayer dollars; and exposes youth to high levels of violence and abuse.

Annie E. Casey report: Jailing youths is a failed strategy

Posted on: Friday October 21st, 2011

Putting young people in jail – particularly for nonviolent offenses – is a failed strategy, according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation that relied on decades of research and data such as this: “Nationally, just 12 percent of the nearly 150,000 youth placed into residential programs by delinquency courts in 2007 had committed aggravated assault, robbery, rape, or homicide.” The greatest proportion of incarcerated youth – about 40 percent of the total, and disproportionately youth of color – are held in locked, long-term correctional facilities. 

Putting young people in jail – particularly for nonviolent offenses – is a failed strategy, according to a new report from the Annie E.

Unions balance needs of children and teachers

Posted on: Thursday October 20th, 2011

Deborah Meier

Schools have long been inundated with rules that stifle sensible practice and ostracize the professionals who work in them.  Up until the 1950s, married women in St. Louis were banned from teaching, and in Chicago if a teacher even looked pregnant she was ushered from the classroom. Since their inception, teachers unions have worked to abolish ordinances like these and address the shameful history of how teachers have been treated. Now, more than a century later, the unions still have much to combat.

Schools have long been inundated with rules that stifle sensible practice and ostracize the professionals who work in them.  Up until the 1950s, married women in St. Louis were banned from teaching, and in Chicago if a teacher even looked pregnant she was ushered from the classroom. Since their inception, teachers unions have worked to abolish ordinances like these and address the shameful history of how teachers have been treated.

America for Teachers!

Posted on: Thursday October 20th, 2011

John H. Jackson, President & CEO, Schott Foundation for Public Education

Here's an important question: What sector of public employees recently received a 71 percent approval rating from its core constituents? If you said elected officials, well, you are wrong. Give up? The answer is teachers. On the recent PDK/Gallup poll of the Public's Attitudes toward the Public Schools, nearly three out of every four Americans said that they have trust and confidence in the men and women who teach in the public schools. But rather than celebrating this exemplary review, too many Democratic and Republican policymakers and business interests are selling rhetoric and policies that blame and punish teachers for the shortcomings of our education system. This is similar to blaming a swim coach for not teaching kids to swim when none of the pools have water.

Here's an important question: What sector of public employees recently received a 71 percent approval rating from its core constituents? If you said elected officials, well, you are wrong.

Give up?

New School Year Brings Steep Cuts In State Funding For Schools

Publication Date: 
Fri, 2011-10-07
Organization: 
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Schools are receiving less state funding than last year in at least 37 states, and in at least 30 states school funding now stands below 2008 levels -- often far below. These cuts are attributable to the failure of the federal government to extend emergency fiscal aid to states and school districts and the failure of most states to enact needed revenue increases and instead to balance their budgets solely through spending cuts.