Change.org Trends: Creating Change in The Classroom

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Summer is coming to an end, which means a new school year is starting for children and young adults around the world. It also means people are finding new reasons to start petitions on Change.org to improve their (and their children’s) experiences in school. While there is a variety of complex issues that can negatively impact learning opportunities, more and more people are fighting against these forces and achieving new victories every day.

We took a moment to explore support for these education efforts and some of the most popular victories:

Over 27 million signatures have supported nearly 26,000 education related petitions on Change.org. 

In the last year, over 7,000 education petitions have been created, a thousand more than were created during the previous year.

With many countries preparing for school during the summer months, the number of education petitions created during the summer increases: there are almost twice the number of education petitions created during each summer month than during winter months.

The countries with the greatest number of education petitions are:

  1. United States
  2. United Kingdom
  3. India
  4. Canada
  5. Australia
  6. Philippines
  7. Pakistan
  8. France
  9. Spain
  10. New Zealand
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While countries with greater numbers of Change.org users like the United States and the United Kingdom understandably appear high on the list, there are some countries that have an especially high ranking as compared to the number of Change.org users like the Philippines, Pakistan, and New Zealand. It’s possible that Pakistan’s ranking as 7th can be partially attributed to the work of education activist, Malala Yousafzai, and Change.org petitions like one asking Pakistani leaders to nominate Malala for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Education is a particularly hot topic in the United States with nearly half of the global education petitions being started by someone living in a US state.

Petitions cover a variety of topics, from ending discriminatory teacher hiring practices to updating a school’s dress code. The most popular education topics referenced in petitions, in order of greatest number of supporters, include:

  1. Teachers
  2. Bullying
  3. Curriculum
  4. Tuition
  5. Campus environment

More people are building support and achieving education victories every day on Change.org. Here are some of the most popular education victories from around the world:

1. Spain: New law enables students to access free textbooks

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The Spanish government enacted a bill to offer textbooks on-loan and subsidies for families with economic hardship after the government heard from Elena Alfaro and over 300,000 supporters on Change.org. See Victory

2. India: New mandated security measures in schools

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When a 6-year-old girl was raped at a school in India, over 150,000 supporters joined a concerned parent in calling for the creation of stricter security measures in schools like staff background checks. The Karnataka state government responded within a week by issuing a directive for policies protecting young students from threats. See Victory

3. United States: Teacher reinstated after being fired for sharing his opinion on social media

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Ohio educator Keith Allison was removed from his Ohio teaching position after a farm owner filed a complaint about Keith posting his personal views regarding animal rights on social media. With support from the ACLU and PETA, as well as nearly 140,000 people, Keith was reinstated at his school district and helped affirm the right for employees to express their opinions outside of work. See Victory

4. United States: School stops discriminatory practices targeting pregnant students

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Former teen mom Natasha Vianna and almost 130,000 supporters called for a public Louisiana high school to remove its discriminatory policies against pregnant students like suspension and forced pregnancy tests. Natasha’s condemnation of institutionalized discrimination against teen moms reinforced the need for schools to provide equal access to learning opportunities for all students. See Victory

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5. Australia: Domestic violence education added to school curriculum

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A 14-year old domestic violence victim in Australia and 103,200 supporters successfully called upon the New South Wales government to introduce domestic violence education into schools. See Victory