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Arkansas Opportunity to Learn Campaign
Ahead of it's February 20th Advocacy Day in Little Rock, AR, the Arkansas OTL Campaign released this fantastic flier highlighting the progress the state has made in the past decade by adhering to sound education policy and the dangers of new proposals aimed at privatizing the state's public school system. Check it out!
Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families
Black students in Arkansas schools are more likely to be suspended and receive corporal punishment than their white counterparts, according to this new state-level analysis from Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (AACF). School disciplinary policies that disproportionately keep students of color out of school reduce their opportunities to learn and increase gaps in educational achievement. This report is evidence that Arkansas schools rely far too often on disciplinary approaches that bar students from the classroom.
Applied Research Center
Racial Equity Impact Assessments (REIAs) are a systematic examination of how different racial and ethnic groups will likely be affected by a proposed action or decision. REIAs are a vital tool for preventing institutional racism and for identifying new options to remedy long-standing inequities. Communities across the country from Seattle to St. Paul to Connecticut have begun to use REIAs in their policymaking. Learn how you can implement them in your own community with this helpful toolkit from the Applied Research Center, an OTL ally!
CA State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson's Task Force on Educator Excellence
Need a blueprint for recruiting, developing and retaining high quality teachers in your state? Look no further than this report from CA State Superintendent Tom Torlakson's Task Force on Educator Excellence. Drawing on the expertise of educators and thought leaders like Linda Darling-Hammond, the report lays out precisely how states should invest in their teachers and their schools to ensure that every student has access to well-prepared and effective teachers.
Brooklyn Community Foundation, Brooklyn Movement Center, and the Black Male Donor Collaborative
New York City's Community School District 16 (CSD16), in the heart of Central Brooklyn, is the center of a bold new approach to grassroots, community-based reform. A new report from the Brooklyn Community Foundation, Brooklyn Movement Center and the Black Male Donor Collaborative lays out a blueprint for collaboration between school leadership, community stakeholders and philanthropic parters to support local schools and ensure access to educational opportunities for all students. "Raising the Stakes: Investing in a Community School Model to Lift Student Achievement in CSD16" aims to produce a community school model that can be replicated in other districts across the city, the state and the country.
Meridian, MS, has been in the news often in the past several months for it's horrendous school-to-prison pipeline. But the sad reality is that the injustices committed there – the heavy and unequal punishments levied for minor offenses, the absurd amount of police involvement in school discipline, the denial of due process rights to students – are happening across the state. A new report from our allies at the Mississippi NAACP, the ACLU, and the Advancement Project reveals that "Mississippi is mired in an extreme school discipline crisis."
National Opportunity to Learn Campaign
In the first in a series of policy proposals, the National Opportunity to Learn Campaign advocates the creation of Personal Opportunity Plans for every student who is one grade level or more behind in reading or math, giving them access to the academic, social and heathcare supports they need to get back on track.
Open Society Foundations and the Foundation Center
In the forward to this new report from the Open Society Foundations (OSF) and the Foundation Center, Shawn Dove, Campaign Manager for OSF's Campaign for Black Male Achievement, writes: "The spirit of Dr. King’s 'fierce urgency of now' declaration prompted the Campaign for Black Male Achievement to commission the Foundation Center to research and assess the current state of philanthropic investments that specifically respond to the crisis facing black men and boys in America. This report describes recent philanthropic investments and innovations in the field of black male achievement."
Opportunity to Learn Campaign
Stopping Out-of-School Suspensions: A Guide for State Policy provides state lawmakers and advocates with the tools they need to understand both the racial implications of school discipline policies and how they impact student learning. This information can be used to identify evidence-based policies and practices that will support educators, schools and districts in promoting positive forms of student discipline.
Ohio Communities United
A new report from Ohio Communities United (OCU) is a perfect snapshot of what effective parent and community engagement looks like in public education reform. The report, "Speaking Out of School," came about following a series of "listening circles" held in Cleveland, which gathered input from parents and community members about the policies and practices they would like to see implemented in their schools and in which they want to be involved. Highlighted throughout the report are the powerful, personal stories of individual parents as well as features on programs across the country that have successfully engaged parents and community members to create stronger public schools.