While it might seem encouraging for education and civil rights leaders to assert that poverty isn’t an obstacle to higher student achievement, the evidence does not support such claims. Over 50 years, numerous studies have documented how poverty and related social conditions – such as lack of access to health care, early childhood education and stable housing – affect child development and student achievement.
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.
Photo via @seanick_
Cami Anderson, the Superintendent of the state-controlled Newark Public Schools, is about to get some new company in her district. After more than a year of protests by parents, students and teachers, the U.S.
Govs. Corbett and Christie Are Coming to Philadelphia.
Join Us for a Rally to Demand Full Funding, Local Control!
At the Union League at 4pm on Monday, June 9th
Newark, NJ, is a city at a crossroads. For the past several years under the direction of state-appointed Superintendent Cami Anderson, the school district has followed the national trend of requiring schools to make do with fewer resources and closing (or turning into charters) those that struggle.
Photo: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters
The fight over public schools is heating up in New Jersey. On March 27, advocates from across the state rallied at the NJ State House to protest the market-based reform policies that are hurting their public schools and to demand a new approach to supporting and improving the state's education system.
New York and New Jersey sit just on opposite sides of the Hudson River, but the two states are much further apart when it comes to investing in children and education.