AMERICAN EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM Doctoral Degree (3-6 Graduate years) Ph.D. SchoolPost-Secondary Masters DegreeSchool (2-3 years) College/University (4 years) Undergraduate Degree B.A., Community College (2 mo. - 2 B.S. years) 17 12 16 11 High School (4 years) 15 10 Secondary 14 School 9 13 8 12 Middle School (Junior High) (3 years) 7 11 6 10 5 9 4 8 Elementary School (5 years) 3 7 Primary 2 6 School 1 5 4 Preschool/Kindergarten 3 AGE GRADE
Theright to education guarantees every child equal access to quality schools and services without discrimination at every level of education, including quality teachers and curricula, and safe and welcoming school environments that respect human dignity.
Equal enjoyment of, and equal access to, educational opportunities and facilities Compulsory and free primary education Generally available and accessible secondary education, and equally accessible higher education Freedom of choice in education, and freedom to establish private institutions
Available-There must be an adequate number of school buildings, trained teachers receiving competitive salaries, and teachingmaterials to meet the needs of all students. In well-resourced countries like the U.S., there should also be libraries, computers and information technology available for all. Parents should have the right to choose education for their children
Accessible- There must be equal access for all to education, especially for the most vulnerable groups in society, including the poor, immigrants, thedisabled, and racially marginalized groups. This includes physical access to school buildings, as well as economic access— transportation, materials and any other basic costs must be affordable
Acceptable- “Education, including curricula and teaching methods, must be acceptable (relevant, culturallyappropriate and of good quality).” Schoolsmust meet standards for health and safetyand discipline must not violate the dignity of the child.
Adequate- Education must adapt tothe needs of students “within their diverse social and cultural settings,” such as students from different class, racial andcultural backgrounds, students who do not speak the primary language of the school system, homeless students, students infoster care, and students with disabilities.
RESPECT by avoiding government action that would cause violations. PROTECT against other individuals or institutions. FULFILL by taking action to ensure quality education. Guarantee equity and non-discrimination Use the maximum amount of resources available Progressively implement by continuously working to improve education Monitor the enforcement of human rights Make information available Provide remedies for violations of rights Guarantee effective participation
The US has failed their schools in many ways › Available Pre-K Education › Adequate funding › Competitive Salaries › Access to Education › Disciplinary policies that respect a child’s dignity › Adaptable teaching methods › Non-discrimination › Protecting the most vulnerable
High poverty schools are receiving an average of $1,348 fewer tax dollars per pupil than more affluent districts. The money spent on schools serving students from low-income families is more likely to fund basic repairs, such as new roofs or asbestos removal, while schools in more affluent districts are more likely to receive funds for educational enhancements such as science laboratories or performing arts centers.
Over the last decade, teacher salaries have remained nearly flat, averaging $44,367 in 2003, just about $2,598 above what they were in 1972 (after adjusting for inflation). Southern states lag behind the nation in teacher pay. Ex: More than 1 in every 3 of Arkansas’ 311 school districts had an average teacher pay below 67% of the national average. Poor Districts—with high percentages of students of color— usually have the lowest teacher salaries.
By the end of high school, the average African-American or Latino student scores at approximately the same level as the average white 8th grader. Minority children are less likely to be in gifted and talented programs and are more likely to be in programs for children with mental retardation or emotional or behavioral disturbances. College enrollment of minorities are behind their white counterparts and Blacks are much less likely to complete their college education.
The U.S. graduates only 75% of its students as compared to the more than 95% graduation rate common to other industrialized nations. U.S. performance in Math and Science is also below average. Ex: in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), given to 4th graders in 24 countries, the average score of U.S. students ranks below that of their counterparts in 11 countries including Japan, the Netherlands, and Latvia.
Schools with the highest percentages of minority, limited English proficient and low-income students are more likely to employ beginning teachers and fewer teachers with masters degrees. Schools whose students are 70% or more low- income are more than twice as likely to be overcrowded as schools whose students are less than 20% low-income. Teachers in these high minority low-income schools also report inadequate facilities, less availability of textbooks and supplies, fewer administrative supports, and larger class sizes.
Zero-tolerance policies common in U.S. schools are used to suspend and expel children for minor, non-violent offenses. Black students are suspended and expelled higher rates than white students and are more frequently referred for subjective offenses such as “disrespect.” Students are also subjected to abusive or humiliating comments by teachers. Students who are suspended fall behind academically and are rarely given alternative assignments or allowed to make up missed work.
Students with disabilities were shortchanged 10.6 billion of what was promised in the first year of IDEA The need for these funds is clear as students with disabilities are less likely to graduate from high school. 12.5% of working age people with disabilities have a bachelor’s degree, compared to the national average of 30.3%.
87% of homeless youth are enrolled in school and only 77% attend school regularly. Less than 16% of eligible pre-school aged homeless children are enrolled in preschool programs. Homeless children are also subject to frequent school transfers. It is estimated that this disruption causes a child to lose 3-6 months of education with each move.
• Rights of every child, not just school or district performance• Quality and adaptability to diverse needs and backgrounds• Non-discrimination not only in access, but in the outcomes and impact of policies• Dignity in school environments• Aims of education toward full development• Right to participation, not just involvement• Government accountability and obligations
The U.S. government must make a firmer commitment to ensuring that every woman, man, youth, and child has equal access to quality education and to other fundamental human rights dependent upon realization of the human right to education.