Quality Education as a Constitutional Right
Creating a Grassroots Movement to Transform Public School
Theresa Perry, Robert P. Moses, Ernesto Cortés Jr., Lisa Delpit, Joan T. Wynne
A passionately argued case for a new civil rights movement—centered on schools
Legendary civil rights leader and education activist Robert Moses
invited one hundred prominent African American and Latino intellec-
tuals and activists to meet to discuss a proposal for a campaign to
guarantee a quality education for all children as a constitutional
right—a movement that would “transform current approaches to edu-
cational inequity, all of which have failed miserably to yield results for
our children.” The response was overwhelming, and people literally
started organizing on the spot.
This book-emerging directly from that effort-includes a fierce, elo-
quent call by Moses for a new approach to school reform. He argues
that the crisis in public education for children of color won’t be solved
by bureaucratic fixes but only by a grassroots, popular movement
modeled after the civil rights movement.
Latino organizer Ernesto Cortés tells us about the realities of organiz-
ing based on the success stories of grassroots change in Texas. Lisa
Delpit shows us the key features of culturally grounded quality educa-
tion. Other eminent educators, historians, and legal experts lend their
voices to this groundbreaking book.
Theresa Perry is professor of Africana Studies and Education at Simmons College in Boston and co-editor of The Real Ebonics Debate.
Robert P. Moses is founder and president of the Algebra Project, as well as the winner of many awards including a MacArthur fellowship and a Heinz Award in the Human Condition.
Ernesto Cortes, Jr. is national co-director of the Industrial Areas Foundation and executive director of the West / Southwest regional network, as well as a winner of a MacArthur fellowship and a Heinz Award in Public Policy.
Lisa Delpit is the Felton G. Clark Distinguished Professor of Education at Southern University and author of Other People’s Children, as well as winner of a MacArthur fellowship and numerous awards.
Joan T. Wynne is Associate Professor of Education at Florida International University and author of Confessions of a White Educator.
Published June 30, 2010
You can purchase the book through Beacon Press