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Education Justice 

 

Creating a World

That Honors Every Child’s Potential

Education Justice addresses issues of education equity at the local, state and national level. We partner with coalitions, parents, students, young people, educators, school staff, education advocates and other members of our diverse communities.

Every child deserves a quality school and the lifelong opportunities they afford. Racism, unjust laws and policies hold back students, schools and family options. We challenge unfair education policies through the use of educational advocacy and support of legal actions.

We believe that the way to give every child the opportunity to pursue a rich and productive life is through a system of publicly-funded, equitable and democratically-controlled public schools.

Institutional racism in public schools  K-12.

Research studies and discrimination lawsuits all reveal that minority children  face significant bias in schools.

  • They’re disciplined more harshly

    • Black students are 3x more likely to be suspended

    • Just 13 Southern states  were responsible for 55% of all suspensions of all black students nationally.

    • In 84 Southern school districts, 100 percent of ALL students suspended were black.

    • 50% of preschool children suspended were blacks but they only made up 18% of children in preschool.

    • Schools use zero tolerance policies for the youngest children so they can kick them out

    • Black preschoolers are disproportionately targeted for suspensions, and punitive discipline.

    • In a 2016 study  white 5 year olds begin to perceive black boys as threatening by associating them with adjectives such as “violent,” “dangerous,” “hostile” and “aggressive.” School discipline policies and practices perpetuate racial stereotypes.

    • According to the Civil Rights Data, students with disabilities and students of color are disproportionately impacted by suspension practices.

    • Of the 49 million students enrolled in public schools, 14% are suspended or expelled per year. (per latest published data of 2012.)

      • 7%, 3.5 million students were suspended in-school,

      • 7%, 3.45 million students were suspended out-of-school; and

      • 130,000 students were expelled.

    • Students with disabilities are twice as likely to receive an out-of-school suspension as their non-disabled peers.

  • They're less likely to be identified as gifted

    • Hispanic and black third graders are 50% as likely as whites to participate in gifted and talented programs, despite qualifying due to  Discretionary and Disproportionality practices

    • When children of color have teachers of color the chances are higher that they will be identified as gifted. This indicates that white teachers largely overlook giftedness in black and brown children.

    • When Broward County, FL used a universal screening process for all second graders with a nonverbal test to identify them as gifted, equal percentages of children from all minority and white groups qualified.

  • They're less likely to have access to quality teachers

    • Black, Hispanic and Native American youth were most likely to have teachers with the least amount of experience, the worst licensure exam scores and the poorest record of improving student test scores.

  • Black , Hispanic and Native American students have less access to honor or advance placement programs.

    • They are less likely to be enroll in advanced science and math classes, reducing their chances of being admitted to a four-year college.

  • Racism  fuels the school-to-prison pipeline and

  • Children of color are traumatized through over bullying and daily microaggressions.

    •  Both black students and Native American students have been reprimanded in schools for wearing their hair in its natural state or in braided styles.

  • Public schools are increasingly segregated,  by race and poverty even more than they were in the 1970s.

  • Encountering racial bigotry in Blacks and Latinos leads children to suffer from depression and behavioral problems.

    • Being ridiculed, ignored or slighted because of race occurs by peers, as as well as adults,and has a detrimental effect on these children.

    • Racism leads teens and young adults to drop out of school. 

  • 66% of study subjects suffering from depression, at one hospital, were black or Latino. 88% percent of the students said they had experienced racial discrimination. Another 19% were multiracial. This study found that racism and depression are strongly linked. “Not only do most minority children experience discrimination, but they experience it in multiple contexts: in schools, in the community, with adults and with peers,” Dr. Pachter said.

It’s incumbent upon Americans to ensure that disadvantaged students and those from ethnic minority groups receive the same standard of education that privileged students do.

We combat disinvestment in public education and support sustainable and competitive  education. We are working to create an educational landscape that welcomes and supports all students and provide them the necessary resources for them to access their education empower them to succeed.

Education Justice supports high quality, well rounded public education for all children and has taken a stand against systems that undermine the strength of our public schools.  Children should have access to a “thorough and efficient” system of public education and one that enables them to meet comprehensive academic standards and graduation requirements. Education Issues address things such as:

  • discipline policies,

  • disability discrimination,

  • gifted student lack of supports

  • IDEA reform,

  • school to prision pipeline,

  • transparency,

  • english language learner discrimination,

  • school quality

  • segregation practices

  • racial and socio-economical discrimination

  • Inclusion mandates

  • privatization of public schools,

  • barriers that prevent children from accessing their education, 

  • child poverty,

  • parent access to quality and cross trained education advocactes

  • teacher education and access to extra resources,

  • expansion of public preschool to benefit all three and four year olds living in high poverty areas

  • education equity

  • undocumented student supports

  • funding

  • expanded charter school use

  • school and teacher evaluation policies

  • legal compliance with current educational regulations

  • educational practice and policy,

  • complex ethical judgments across multiple lines of difference,

  • enhancement of educators' and policymakers' capacities to make ethical decisions under challenging conditions.

  • use of research based interventions, and

  • educational attainment rates.

Education Justice requires an integrated pragmatic, ethical and moral  approach, so to address current educational injustices. We must not only focus on explanations for student and school successes and failures, but also address education’s value and purpose within our communities and our larger society by supporting:

  • institutions and practices of education that support democracy and justice,

  • creating environments for equal citizenship and classless empowerment,

  • cultivating the talents and interests of every individual.