Policy Guides

American Academy of Pediatrics
Wednesday March 27, 2013 –

A new voice is chiming in to the school discipline debate: the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently released a policy statement condemning the overuse of out-of-school suspensions and expulsions, and advocating instead for positive discipline polices that keep students in the classroom.

Opportunity to Learn Campaign
Tuesday December 11, 2012 –

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.

The Dignity in Schools Campaign
Wednesday August 1, 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.

The Coalition for Teaching Quality
Tuesday July 31, 2012 –

The Coalition for Teaching Quality, representing a broad cross-section of 90 civil rights, disability, parent, student, community and education groups are voicing their deep concern with the proposed extension of the highly qualified teacher federal amendment (HQT amendment) until 2015, allowing teachers in training to be “highly qualified” under federal law.

The HQT amendment enacted in December 2010 allows participants in alternative teacher preparation programs to be classified as “highly qualified” even though they are still in training. Research shows that such teachers are disproportionately concentrated in schools and classrooms filled with our most vulnerable students. Under the current provision, teachers-in-training can continue to teach for as long as three years even if they never complete their preparation program, pass certification tests, or meet other state certification standards. And worse yet, parents are never notified that their children’s teachers are still in training and therefore not actually “highly qualified” according to the original definition of the term.

Join advocates from across the country to tell Congress and President Obama to allow the current HQT amendment to sunset after the 2012-2013 school year. An Opportunity to Learn requires all students to have a well-prepared teacher on day one.

The Working Group on School Transformation
Tuesday April 17, 2012 –

This policy brief from the New York City Working Group on School Transformation criticizes NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg's education reform strategy of closing low-performing schools. Evidence from the NYC Department of Education reveals that its school-assignment policies concentrate the highest-needs students in struggling schools, exacerbating the low performance that leads to the subsequent closing of these schools. The brief calls for the DOE to build the instructional capacity across NYC public schools to support the lowest-performing schools rather than simply closing them. 

National Opportunity to Learn Campaign
Wednesday April 11, 2012 –

In 2010, the President set a goal for the U.S. to become the global leader in postsecondary degree attainment by the year 2020. Yet, more than 7,000 students, many of whom are not proficient in reading and math, are leaving or being pushed out of U.S. schools each day. This study shows that the U.S. cannot achieve the President’s 2020 goal if our schools continue to hemorrhage large segments of our nation’s youth. Accordingly, this document is designed to serve as a blueprint for implementing a comprehensive package of policy reforms that seek to increase the quantity of students who succeed at every stage of the educational pipeline and the quality of the education they receive. Different from most calls for reform, it considers the educational pipeline in its entirety—from early childhood through postsecondary attainment—and offers evidence‐informed strategies to boost access, quantity and quality at every stage.

Institute for Wisconsin's Future
Tuesday April 10, 2012 –

Fixing Wisconsin's school finance system is an issues that will come up again and again during the upcoming elections. This poliy memo provides background about that system, the impact on our schools of the most recently passed budget, and messaging points. 

National Opportunity to Learn Campaign
Wednesday December 21, 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.

Alliance for Excellent Education
Thursday July 21, 2011 –

There is an economic -- as well as ideological -- importance to providing all students with an equal opportunity for rigorous education. In this report, the Alliance for Excellent Education makes the economic case, analyzing state-level economic data to determine the monetary benefits that states could see by improving the graduation rates of students of color and Native students.

National Governors Association
Tuesday July 12, 2011 –

More than 1 million youth ages 16 to 19 are not enrolled in school and do not have a high school diploma. Although states are beginning to use research to create successful dropout prevention policies and programs, more work needs to be done. This report summarizes recent policy developments in dropout prevention and recovery and recommends effective strategies for states to facilitate the reengagement of out-of-school youth.