This Week in Education Organizing - April 15, 2016

The Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools Newsletter
April 15, 2016

Welcome to our April 15 newsletter! As always, share the latest stories from your city or state with us on Twitter and Facebook. Don't forget to tell your friends and colleagues to sign up for our newsletter here.

Join the May 4 walk-ins!
Los Angeles students participating in the
February walk-ins. Picture via UTLA.

AROS is proud to announce that dozens of cities are gearing up for a demonstration of support for their public schools and the fight for the Schools All Our Children Deserve. On May 4, parents, students and educators will gather outside of their schools before the bell to hold a rally and march. Then they will walk into their schools together in a show of solidarity.

This is the second national walk-in event organized by the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools - and the movement is growing! Earlier this year, 33 cities participated in the first national walk-in on February 17. (You can find a recap of that event with pictures and videos here.)

For May 4, we already have 41 cities and counties signed on, and more are joining every day! As public schools are increasingly threatened by a view of education that supports privatization, zero-tolerance discipline policies, less funding, and high-stakes standardized tests, AROS is fighting back with a broad vision of American public education that prioritizes racial justice, equity and well-resourced, world-class, public community schools. 

Join us on May 4! We have a toolkit of walk-in resources available here. And you can check out the growing list of participating cities here. Let us know you are joining the movement by emailing our campaign coordinator, Madeline Talbott (

A number of groups in the AROS network were featured this month in two articles in the spring edition of The American Prospect. "School Closures: A Blunt Instrument” looks at school closings in Chicago, Philadelphia, Newark and elsewhere. It addresses concerns about systemic racism and how districts have refused to look for alternatives before closing schools or to adequately track the impact those closures have on students and communities. The piece cites AROS as well as the work of Journey for Justice Alliance, PULSE in New Jersey and the Advancement Project, among others. "The Great Diversion" takes a deep dive into how charter schools across Massachusetts divert money away from traditional public schools.

In a column for City Limits, Urban Youth Collaborative's Kesi Foster pushes back against a lawsuit and media campaign by the pro-charter group Families for Excellent Schools that paints New York City public schools as dangerous and out of control. Foster argues that FES is using faulty data to perpetuate negative stereotypes of students of color and that "safety is not about treating children like criminals in waiting and greeting them with metal detectors and police at the door." Given that NYC schools have far more police officers than guidance counselors or social workers, the district should work to institute the types of resources that support students rather than pushing them down the school-to-prison pipeline. Read Foster's column here.


May 4: More National Walk-Ins on the Horizon!
After the success of the February 17 walk-ins, the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools will be organizing a second national walk-in event on May 4. We've updated our walk-in toolkit from February with new materials for the May event.

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