Purpose & Goals
"We are asking the country to engage in conversations at the local, state, regional and national level about the need for a constitutional amendment for quality public school education for every child in the nation."
--ROBERT MOSES, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN COMMENCEMENT
Eleanor Roosevelt remarked that, “[O]n the public school largely depends the success or failure of our great experiment in government, by the people, for the people.” We think of democracy as a basic human right…it is also the natural consequence of education and economic development. (John Kenneth Galbraith) To many of us the recent election of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States was an indication that we could be the people, for the people. His historic election lifted the ceiling of possibility for many. In an age when education is a pre-requisite to opportunity, the harder task will be to raise the floor.
The education crisis in America has reached an all time high. The current generation has levels of educational attainment below that of their parents—linking to lower rates of employment and family-income. Systems that should be preparing the next generation to engage and contribute to a global society, chronically fail African-Americans, Latinos, males and low-income students.
- High school graduates and dropouts earn 50 and 30 cents on the $1 of a college graduate.
- High school dropout rates for African-American, Latino, and low-income students are approaching 50%.
- Joblessness for 16-to-24-year-old black men has reached Great Depression proportions—34.5% in October 2009; young black women have an unemployment rate of 26.5%.
- America imprisons 2.3 million people, 70% are African-American and Latino.
Our success as a nation is measured by how our institutions support or fail the needs of our young people. A student-led, national movement for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution ensuring the right to a high-quality education is needed to significantly transform American public education and to raise the floor for what students expect of themselves, and what schools, families, and communities expect of their children.