Education Justice Issues

Yinzercation volunteers are active on many education justice issues, fighting to make sure that all students have the great public schools that they deserve. For more information, please click on the following links to see our pages on:

Equity:

  • School resources
  • Poverty, race, and racism
  • School-to-prison pipeline, student push-out

School Funding:

  • State budget cuts
  • Fair funding formula
  • Special education funding
  • Our running list of: Where’s the Money?

Privatization and Corporate-Style Reforms:

  • Vouchers and tax credit programs
  • Charter reform and accountability
  • Parent trigger laws
  • Teach for America
  • Tracking political donations

School Closures:

  • History in Pittsburgh
  • Impact on communities of color and students of color

High Stakes Testing:

  • Concerns for students
  • Consequences for schools
  • Impact on teachers
  • Strategies to reduce high-stakes testing

 

Here are some of the many wins for education justice that we have achieved:

  • Made public education the #1 voter issue in Pennsylvania for the 2014 governor’s race.
  • Worked with Pittsburgh Public Schools to reduce student testing time by up to 33 hours for 2014-2015.
  • Sponsored the gubernatorial candidates for their only debate focused on education issues (broadcast statewide, with 500 people in the live audience).
  • Hosted the national launch (attended by 1,000 people) of education historian Diane Ravitch’s new book, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools
  • Pushed back poorly formed charter “reform” legislation in 2013 that would have harmed public school districts.
  • Co-founded a new coalition, Great Public School (GPS) Pittsburgh, to find ways to work together towards great schools for all Pittsburgh children.
  • Raised significant questions and hosted conversations about the impact of Teach for America (TFA) and school closures on our students and communities.
  • Saved $100 million from being cut in the 2012-13 state education budget, preserving early childhood and Kindergarten programs.
  • Prevented voucher legislation that would have sent public money to private schools.
  • Nixed a bill that tried to remove control from local, democratically elected school boards.
  • Sparked a “Manchester Miracle,” filling empty school library shelves with thousands of books while calling attention to persistent equity issues.
  • Prompted a national conversation that went viral about the negative and inequitable impacts of high-stakes-testing on students and schools.
  • Exposed the money trail leading from ultra-wealthy, out-of-state donors to political campaigns here in Southwest PA.
  • Hosted rallies, town hall meetings, candlelight vigils, mock-bake sales, call-your-legislator days, youth advocacy events, film showings, letter writing parties, trips to Harrisburg, press conferences, meetings with legislators, petition drives, teach-ins, an Operatic Rally, and a Rolling Rally showcasing communities impacted by school closures.

 

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