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Summer/Fall 2010 Newsletter

AEJ Goes to Washington DC In July, the Alliance for Educational Justice had an extremely productive few days in Washington DC. We brought our Strategy Team, Youth Strategy Team and a few key youth leaders to participate in a summer retreat and lobby day. We had 30 participants from across the country develop stronger connections with each other and move our national campaign. Highlights of the week include: •

AEJ held a Summer Leadership retreat to tighten infrastructure & discussion of a 10-year strategy plan.

AEJ led Hill Briefing on School to Prison Pipeline. We had over 75 people in attendance, including several key education committee staffers and DC allies. Youth facilitated and spoke on the panel that highlighted youth experiences with harsh school discipline policies and provided real community based solutions.

Youth Speak Out on the lawn of the Capitol with 500 students and parents from Philadelphia, Kansas, Denver, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Oakland, New York and Boston.

Hot Schott Award On Friday, September 23rd, 2010 The Schott Foundation for Public Education presented AEJ with the Youth Activist Award for AEJ’s dedication and strategic leadership in building a nationwide network of youth led organizations to promote change. The award was presented at Schott’s Annual “Hot Schott” Gala held in Chicago, IL


FALL 2012

Fall Parent and Student Engagement Youth Justice Corps Members Lead Community Engagement Efforts Across the Country

South Eastern PA Ed Summit The event was held in solidarity with the Dignity in Schools coalition’s national week of action. AEJ’s two Philadelphia based community organizations: Youth United for Change and the Philadelphia Student Union organized the event. The Community Education Summit featured testimonies and recommendations from hundreds of students, parents, and educational advocates across the state of Pennsylvania. AEJ members will be asking elected officials to put more effort into changing school climates that push students out of school, end all out of school suspensions and expulsions for youth under the age of 10, provide more financial incentives for schools to implement restorative justice practices, and provide increased accountability for schools that use exclusionary discipline practices like expulsion and suspension for minor offenses.

Department of Education Youth Listening Tour Between October and November, AEJ member organizations in Chicago, Oakland, and Los Angeles co-hosted community engagement meetings for President Obama's American Graduation Youth Listening Tour. The goal of the listening tour was to collect youth input and feedback on ways President Obama and the Department of Education can improve college going and completion rates.



FALL 2012

Youth Justice Corps Update In May, AEJ brought member organizations together in Denver. AEJ staff provided training for YJC supervisors, planned with the Youth Justice Corps leaders themselves, and worked with Strategy team to establish our campaign agenda and priorities for the next three months. The meeting also marked the unveiling of AEJ’s 300-page Youth Justice Corp training manual, which features workshops and trainings around education issues, organizing skills, and supports for supervision of YJC interns.

with hundreds of youth leaders across the country, and co-lead training with YJC interns on AEJ’s national education justice movement building strategy. At the end of the month AEJ headed to Detroit for the US Social Forum. AEJ hosted 2 workshops, facilitated by YJC and AEJ staff. Over 230 people attended the workshops! This Fall YJC took time to evaluate the first 6 months of programming, which will lead to the creation of a new 6-month plan. Come January YJC will be focusing their efforts on developing a shared political analysis, recruitment of members to our National Campaign for Quality Education, and implementing a strong youth led new media and communications strategy.

In June, AEJ regional organizers traveled across the country on a YJC Training tour visiting member organizations in Chicago, Kansas, California, Philadelphia, and New York. AEJ staff was able to build relationships

New Media Plans By creating their own media and utilizing our interactive website, AEJ will provide youth with the opportunity to elevate their own stories and affect the public debate on education. Our first online communications campaign will feature a series of campaign related blog posts from YJC interns across the country. The youth blog campaign launches in December. In the meantime, AEJ is working hard to identify new media resources and allies to strengthen this critical piece of our work! 3


FALL 2012

Policy and Campaign Update Top Policy Issues During our AEJ convening in May 2010, we decided on key issues the alliance feels we can have the most impact on locally, statewide, and nationally. The key issues we chose to focus on were Ending the School to Jail Track and Equity in Funding Issues

School to Jail Track We believe that schools need to provide all youth with resources to be on the path to college and successful careers but this can only happen if we end zero tolerance policies and implement restorative justice in three key ways. Three key pieces we are moving forward are: 1) Mandatory data collection 2) Funding for community based solutions 3) Mandating an end to out of school expulsion expulsion for minor offenses

Equity in Funding Issues We want to require states to report on per pupil spending including teacher salaries, which often allows high performing teachers to take their larger salaries to high performing districts. We need states to show spending levels in each district and create formulas that focus on per pupil spending not just teacher salaries. There is currently a Bill in Congress that AEJ is supporting and closely monitoring that seeks to address this issue. 4

Thanks for Your Support From the Alliance for Educational Justice staff and members, we thank you for your support and look forward to bringing you our next update real soon. Visit us at our AEJ and NCQE websites for up to date information and news!

Alliance for Educational Justice 436 14th Street, 5th Floor Oakland, CA 94612

Fall Newsletter  

The Alliance for Educational Justice Fall 2010 Newsletter