April 2011 Issue:
Resources:
For more than 40 years, plaintiffs around the country have turned to state courts to vindicate the rights of students to the opportunity to obtain a quality education, as required by their state constitutions. Recently, opponents of these educational opportunity cases have adopted new tactics that could reshape the role of the judiciary and the system of checks-and-balances on which our state governments are based.
As Congress considers reauthorizing the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), a broad coalition of national groups recommends major changes to shift the law from a negative test-and-punish statute to one that supports schools and educators, builds their capacity to deliver quality education, and provides all children the Opportunity To Learn (OTL). On May 9 at 2 PM, the Forum on Educational Accountability* (FEA) will offer a one-hour webinar on its recommendations.
Recently, one of the world's foremost experts on teaching quality, Linda Darling-Hammond, reported on the first "International Summit on Teaching" and pointed to lessons we can learn from the highest achieving nations. Sadly, she concludes that the U.S. is pursuing an approach to teaching almost diametrically opposed to that pursued by the highest-achieving nations.
Washington, DC and in Many Locations
A national Save Our Schools March is planned for July 28-31 in response to attacks across the country on teachers and other public employees, and on public education. A two-day conference of workshops and events will precede the rally at The Eclipse in Washington, DC on July 30. More rallies and events are planned in other locations.
The supreme courts of Washington and South Dakota will rule on appeals in educational opportunity and adequacy/equity cases. Plaintiffs won in the trial court in Washington, and defendants won in the trial court in South Dakota.
The New Jersey Supreme Court will rule on whether large state funding cuts have rendered the state's finance system unconstitutional, as the Superior Court found, and, if so, order a remedy.
Plaintiffs still await a decision from the South Carolina Supreme Court in the educational opportunity case Abbeville v. State, which was argued before the court over two years ago.
April 29, 2011 -- The national educational Equity and Excellence Commission will host a town hall meeting from 6 to 8:00 PM in Congressman Chaka Fattah's district, University of Pennsylvania, Houston Hall, 3417 Spruce St., Philadelphia, PA.
May 7, 2011 -- The national educational Equity and Excellence Commission will host a town hall meeting from 10 AM to Noon in Kansas City, Kansas.
May 9, 2011 -- "Overhauling ESEA to Improve Public Schools: FEA's Reauthorization Proposals" webinar will be presented by the Forum on Educational Accountability (FEA) from 2 to 3 PM. To join (no password needed), click here.
May 12, 2011 -- Benjamin Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP, will deliver the 2nd annual Education Justice Lecture at 4:00 PM at Rutgers University's Bloustein School, New Brunswick, NJ. That evening, the NAACP will receive the prestigious Education Justice award for dedicated service to educational equity across the nation.
June 8, 2011 -- The national educational Equity and Excellence Commission will host a town hall meeting in Dallas, TX.
June 9-10, 2011 -- The Southern Education Foundation hosts its annual School Leadership Initiative, including remarks by Molly A. Hunter, Atlanta, GA.
June 14, 2011 -- ETS presents its 15th Addressing Achievement Gaps symposium, "A Strong Start: Positioning Young Black Boys for Educational Success," Washington, D.C.
June 15-16, 2011 -- The annual Litigators' Workshop for plaintiff litigators in educational opportunity cases, Denver, CO. By invitation only.
July 28-31, 2011 -- Save Our Schools March, including a rally on July 30 at The Eclipse, Washington, DC.
Send announcements of upcoming events for the Education Justice calendar to: info@educationjustice.org

The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children.

-- Dietrich Bonhoeffer


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State-by-state information on school funding litigation, past and pending, can be found at this web page.


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