An Education Bill of Rights for Every Child

Every child deserves a good education—about that, nearly all Americans agree. But what exactly does that mean?

Here are ten rights that, taken together, contribute to an education that prepares children for the social, ethical, and workplace challenges all will face. Excerpted from my book, Sacred Trust: A Children’s Education Bill of Rights, these guidelines are intended to help teachers, parents, school administrators, and policymakers anchor educational choices in principles that square with experience.

Every child has a right to…

  1. A neighborhood public school or a public school of choice that is funded for excellence.
  2. Physical and emotional health and safety.
  3. A school culture that honors, celebrates, and studies his or her heritage, background, and religious differences.
  4. Opportunities to develop learning styles and strategies to the greatest possible extent.
  5. An excellent and dedicated teacher.
  6. A school leader with vision and educational expertise.
  7. A curriculum based on relevance, depth, and flexibility.
  8. The most powerful educational technologies.
  9. Fair, relevant, and learner-based evaluations.
  10.  A way to complete high school.

Peter Cookson is a principal researcher in the Education Program at AIR.