Students Have a Constitutional Right to Literacy, Court Rules
The United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit on April 23, 2020 recognized a constitutional right of foundational literacy under the Fourteenth Amendment. The decision addressed conditions for students in Detroit public schools, but it elevated the argument around the need to educate all children to at minimum a 21st Century standard of basic literacy.
THE 6TH CIRCUIT COURT AND THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO A FOUNDATIONAL LEVEL OF LITERACY
By Bob Moses
Throughout U.S. history the courts, Congress, local legislatures, and the executive branch of government have resisted the idea that public school students have a constitutional right to meaningful education. Our decades of work with the Algebra Project bring this into sharp focus. The lack of opportunity rooted inside the educational system, and with mathematics in particular, continues to lock generations of youth from full participation in democracy and the economy, basically making full citizenship impossible. Furthermore, the caste system created by this failure has broadened to include not just blacks, but people of color and people living in poverty.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that the state of Michigan had been so negligent toward the educational needs of Detroit students that children had been “deprived of access to literacy” — the foundational skill that allows Americans to function as citizens — in violation of the 14th Amendment.
Resources related to Quality Education as a Constitutional Right
Quality Education as a Constitutional Right
Theresa Perry, Robert Moses, Joan T. Wynne, Ernesto Cortes Jr., and Lisa Delpit
The Lost Education of Horace Tate
Vanessa Siddle Walker
A Federal Right to Education
Kimberly Jenkins Robinson (Editor) , Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (Afterword), Martha Minow
QUALITY EDUCATION AS A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT
July 9th, 2020
Zoom Town Hall
A VIRTUAL TOWN HALL MEETING TO DISCUSS QUALITY EDUCATION AS A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT
On April 23, 2020, in a groundbreaking decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit recognized a constitutional right to foundational literacy under the Fourteenth Amendment. The case, which originated from students seeking equitable, quality education in the Detroit public schools, elevates the argument that all children have a right to be educated to a 21st century standard of basic literacy. One of the student plaintiffs and panelist Jamarria Hall shared his story.