About the I Dream A+ School Campaign
The I Dream A+ School Campaign is a web platform created to lift up the voices of youth and parents – perspectives that are currently missing from the national conversation on public education – and bring them to the debate’s forefront.
Nobody knows better than our students and their communities the tremendous successes that occur daily in our public schools, the urgent inadequacies that exist in too many, and the shameful inequalities that lie between. Through web videos and written testimonies, students, parents, and teachers make the case for what is working, what is lacking and what must be fixed, along with sharing their dreams for better schools – and what we must do to help those dreams become reality.
The State of Public Education
Public education is in a state of crisis. Instead of fulfilling the promise of providing every student with a fair opportunity to receive a high-quality education, our public school system is divided into two standards of learning. Some children benefit from well-resourced schools with state-of-the-art technology, expansive facilities, highly qualified and effective teachers, and a nurturing learning environment. Others attend crumbling schools with overcrowded classrooms, no extracurricular activities, harsh disciplinary policies, and a shortage of supplies as basic as books and paper.
Children of color, children in urban communities, and children of poor families are especially affected by these inequities, making them less likely to achieve academic, college, or career success:
- Overall, we spend approximately $900 less per year on each student from poor school districts than we do on each student in more affluent communities.
- Teachers in elementary schools serving the most Latino and Black students are paid, on average, $2,250 less per year than teachers in the same districts at schools serving the fewest Latino and Black students.
- Fourth graders from low-income areas are already three grade levels behind those from high-income areas.
- Graduation rates for Black and Latino students are below 50 percent and even lower in some communities.
Many people do not understand the depth of these disparities, and the issue of inequity is notably absent from national education and policy debates. I Dream A+ School lets communities illustrate these inequities and the state of their schools through their eyes, inviting them to share their visions and dreams for something better.
About Advancement Project
Advancement Project has long worked in partnership with grassroots organizations and community groups across the country to expose educational inequity, inadequacy, and injustice. Advancement Project is a next generation multi-racial civil rights organization. For more information, visit Advancement Project's website.