Louisiana

Louisiana's Opportunity Gap

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The Urgency of Now, a new report from the Schott Foundation for Public Education, finds that 49 percent of Black male students graduated from Louisiana schools in four years, compared to 63 percent of Latino male students and 63 percent of White male students. The report cites the dire "pushout' and "lockout" crises hurting students of color and denying them access to a fair and substantive opportunity to learn. For more info, including state and district data, visit blackboysreport.org.
   
View the report's Louisiana press release here.

The Raise Your Hand Campaign is a student-led research initiative in New Orleans schools that pulled together student testimony and research from 6 different public high schools and examined the opportunities, or lack thereof, available to students in the years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. The report examines everything from teaching quality and student support services to physical environment and school food, and gives each school a report card and recommendations for improvement. 

A new complaint filed by the Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association (VAYLA),  an OTL ally, criticizes schools operating in East New Orleans for failing to meet the language needs of Asian American and Latino students and parents with limited English. The complaint is the culmination of more than two years of investigation into the educational equity and access issues for limited-English speaking communities in New Orleans.

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Every revolution needs a declaration. Against a backdrop of surging grassroots discontent with how the nation's K-12 public schools are currently governed, a diverse coalition of leaders from across the country have joined in support of "An Education Declaration to Rebuild America."

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In an inspiring display of cross-sector collaboration, the New York City School-Justice Partnership Task Force has released an action plan for NYC officials to reduce the use of suspensions, summonses, and arrests by building common cause between different agencies and communities and implementing positive discipline strategies.

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Proponents of charter schools and charter expansion consistently overlook serious issues with how these schools can selectively shape their student enrollment. A report from the National Education Policy Center describes 12 practices that charter schools use to push out or discourage enrollment of students with special needs, those with low test scores, English learners, or students in poverty.

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May 17th is the 59th anniversary of the historic Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision. Decades later, students, parents, teacher and advocates are still fighting against education policies that leave students of color and low-income students deprived of the resources and opportunities they need to succeed. But a grassroots revolution is brewing, what blogger Jeff Bryant has been calling an "education spring," and this past week has seen headline-grabbing victories and inspiring actions.

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Policy
National Opportunity to Learn Campaign, Dec 2011
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.
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Policy
The Dignity in Schools Campaign, Aug 2012
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.
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Report
Center for Civil Rights Remedies at UCLA's Civil Rights Project , Aug 2012
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.
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