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.
In the wake of President Obama's announcement that his administration would stop deporting eligible young immigrants, advocates across the country are celebrating the victory and their hard work in pushing for immigration reform.
Reforming school discipline policies isn't just about eliminating harsh zero-tolerance policies and implementing programs centered on restorative justice. We also need to change how those policies are enforced and who enforces them.
Students who are arrested at school are three times more likely to drop out than those who are not, and those who do are more likely to end up in the criminal justice system than those who remain in school. While some school districts use on-site officers to apprehend students who pose a real and immediate threat to the physical safety of those around them, others predominantly use these officers to enforce their code of student conduct. In such districts, officers are encouraged to arrest, in many cases using public order offenses as a justification, students who are unruly, disrespectful, use profanity, or show "attitute." This report examines the rate at which police officers in Massachusetts' three largest school districts - Boston, Springfield and Worcester - arrest students for public order offenses and the extent to which school-based policing influences arrest rates.