BOULDER, CO (March 1, 2018) - For more than 25 million children, the connection between education and the American Dream is eroding, but a new video is shining a spotlight on schools closing the opportunity gap.
The two-minute video tells the story of how students benefit when they have access to much-needed educational and social supports. “It puts a face on the students whose lives change when they get access to Schools of Opportunity,” said Michelle Renée Valladares, NEPC Associate Director.
To date, 45 schools have been recognized by the National Education Policy Center’s Schools of Opportunity program. These schools provide rich, engaging opportunities to learn for all their students, often helping those students overcome obstacles linked to poverty and racism in our larger society. One of this year’s honorees—Seaside High School—is highlighted in the video.
The video introduces us to Dayshaun, a young man whose drop in school performance might have resulted in sanctions and lowered expectations at other schools. Instead we learn how systemic supports at Seaside helped him get through the immense challenge of his mother falling ill. Because of that support, Dayshaun is now a school leader.
The Schools of Opportunity project was born out of the research-based fundamental truth that students learn more when they have rich opportunities to learn; when denied those opportunities they fall behind. The opportunity gap then drives the achievement disparities between students who come from well-resourced communities and those from economically and socially marginalized communities.
“The Schools of Opportunity project offers a positive vision of what school quality and school improvement can look like,” says CU Boulder Professor Kevin Welner, who directs the NEPC. “This project highlights an alternative to judging schools based on test scores.”
This video “sparks our imaginations about what our high schools can be,” says Welner. “We hope it reaches educators and school leaders throughout the country, as we all learn from the 45 exemplary schools we’ve recognized to date. Please watch, share and let us know what you think.”
The video is a product of ATTN:, an issues-driven media company, and The Partnership for the Future of Learning, a network of educators, advocates, leaders, and supporters dedicated to an affirmative, equitable, evidence-based vision of a remodeled education system.
NEPC is scouting for the next round of schools to lift up through the Schools of Opportunity Program. Schools can apply for recognition directly, or others can nominate them. Applications are welcomed until April 9, 2018. Information and forms are available online at: www.SchoolsofOpportunity.org.
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- New @attn video with @NEPCtweet shows how every student can learn with the right tools and supports. https://twitter.com/
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- You can judge a school based on test scores, or you can watch what happens when #SchoolsofOpportunity give every student a shot at success. New @attn video with @NEPCtweet. https://twitter.com/