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By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Philadelphia School District isn’t unique. Parents, unions, and advocacy groups are joining nationwide to make schools better. But groups need access to information.

When lawyers fighting for equity in public school funding were filing their briefs to a Colorado court, they needed citations and used the sections on Colorado in the Institute for Educational Equity and Opportunity’s book, Education in the 50 States: A Deskbook of the History of State Constitutions and Laws About Education, and provided a copy of the book to every judge on the court.

In December, they celebrated a court ruling which held that “All of the evidence demonstrates a systemic failure to provide all students with the knowledge and skills mandated by the Education Clause and standards-based education” — a failure directly correlated with inadequate funding.

Overwhelming evidence supports the conclusion that with sufficient funding, school districts can improve all students’ achievement. And with sufficient information, you can win a case.

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