Massachusetts

Privatization As a Solution? Wrong. Try Again.

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. The 10-page Message also functions as a primer on how different aspects of the privatization movement (from vouchers to education management organizations to charters and online schools) are undermining the principles of fairness and opportunity that our country holds so dear.

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.

Who Wants to Hear Jonathan Kozol Speak? We Do!

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. His new book, Fire in the Ashes: Twenty-Five Years Among the Poorest Children in American, will be available for purchase and signing by the author. Click here to register – we'll see you there!

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.

Opportunities Suspended: The Disparate Impact of Disciplinary Exclusion From School

Publication Date: 
Tue, 2012-08-07
Author: 
Center for Civil Rights Remedies at UCLA's Civil Rights Project
Type: 
reports
Category: 
equitable-instructional-materials

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.

Millions of Students Locked Out of the Classroom

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. In "Opportunities Suspended: The Disparate Impact of Disciplinary Exclusion From School," the Center for Civil Rights Remedies at the UCLA's Civil Rights Project 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. The comprehensive report reveals the unconscionable disparities regarding which students are pushed out of the classroom and locked out of school.

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.

New Panel Will Focus on Early Reading in MA

Early reading skills lay the foundation for all later learning, which makes closing the achievement gap in early reading 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 by creating an "Early Literacy Expert Panel."

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. 

How to Measure the Well-Being of Our Children

The 2012 version of the Annie E. Casey Foundation's annual "KIDS COUNT Data Book" provides a wealth of information about the well-being of our nation's children, including state-by-state data on educational opportunities, economic security, access to healthcare and family and community environments. The report illustrates the deep disparities between children of color and their White peers and between children from wealthy and low-income families in access to the opportunities and supports necessary to succeed in school and in life. Overall, the report finds that a higher percentage of students of color are living in poverty, not attending preschool, not graduating on time and don't have health insurance compared to non-Hispanic White children.

MA Teens Organize for Voting Rights and Voice in Ed Policy

Youth advocates from Lowell, MA, are leading the charge to lower the voting age in municipal elections to 17 so that current students can have a say in the education policies affecting them. With a bill in committee at the State House and an outpouring of support from advocacy groups and policymakers across the state, members of the Vote 17 Lowell campaign are closer than any group every before to winning a voice for 17-year-olds in local politics.

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. 

OTL Activists Featured on Time Cover

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. Youth advocates from OTL allies like the Student Immigrant Movement and Make the Road NY have been particularly active on the issue, landing them on nothing less than the cover of TIME magazine.

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.

Police in Schools Increases Student Arrests

A new report from the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts and Citizens for Juvenile Justice examines the rate at which MA's three largest school districts use on-site police officers to arrest students for minor, non-violent infractions and thereby contribute to the criminalization of youths. 

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.

Arrested Futures: The Criminalization of School Discipline in Massachusetts' Three Largest School Districts

Publication Date: 
Wed, 2012-06-27
Author: 
American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts and Citizens for Juvenile Justice
Type: 
reports
Category: 
equitable-instructional-materials

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. 

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