9 facts that show our education system is failing the most vulnerable—and why that hurts us all
At a recent campaign event in Raleigh, North Carolina, Hillary Clinton underscored the need to break down all of the barriers that hold people back—including barriers to getting a world-class education.
“Education should be a great door-opener, and yet we know it often doesn’t turn out that way,” she said. “Every child in this country deserves a good teacher in a good school—regardless of the ZIP code that you live in.”
Right now, our education system is failing too many children. And that’s a huge problem—because the education kids receive has a direct effect on their ability to succeed as adults.
Our most vulnerable children aren’t receiving the education they deserve, and that will affect lives—and our economy—for generations to come.
Here are the facts:
1. Our schools are more segregated than they were in 1968.
In 1954, the Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education ended school segregation, declaring that so-called “separate but equal” schools for black and white students were unconstitutional. In the years that followed, we finally began to slowly integrate our schools. But by 2011, U.S. schools were more segregated than they were in 1968.
2. We’ve made progress, but there’s still a big achievement gap between white students and their black and Hispanic peers.
3. The school-to-prison pipeline takes many black students out of the classroom.
4. Students from low-income families have a harder time succeeding.
There’s a strong connection between a family’s socioeconomic status and how well a child does in school. Often, students who are living in poverty need more support from schools in order to succeed—but many schools are not able to provide that support.
5. Our teachers aren’t being paid enough for the value of their work.
The average kindergarten teacher makes $53,480 a year, and there are about 158,000 kindergarten teachers in the United States. So in 2014, American kindergarten teachers made about $8.5 billion collectively.
By comparison, the top 25 hedge fund managers in America collectively earned $11.6 billion in 2015, according to Institutional Investor’s Alpha magazine—and the magazine noted that 2015 was a bad year for hedge fund managers.
6. Race plays a role in determining whether a student will finish high school.
7. Black and Hispanic students are less likely to complete college than white students.
A great K–12 education can pay off in higher education, helping students to go to college and graduate with a degree. The difference in earnings between people who graduate from high school and those with college degrees is getting wider every year.
8. The United States is behind many industrialized nations when it comes to college completion rates.
Only about 50 percent of students who start college in the United States end up getting their degree—a percentage that is far lower than other nations.
9. The more students succeed, the better our economy does!
Improving K-12 education for black and Hispanic students wouldn’t just help improve those students’ lives, it would substantially grow our economy.
Hillary believes that we can improve our K-12 education system by focusing on teaching, learning, and community.
As president, Hillary will launch a national campaign to support and modernize the teaching profession, and make sure our teachers are paid like the future of the country is in their hands—because it is.
Hillary will also make sure that the best practices of community and charter schools are applied broadly, so that students in every public school can benefit, and ensure early childhood education is available everywhere.
And Hillary will invest in America’s poorest schools and ensure all schools are meeting the needs of every student—because we have to close the gap for low-income students, students of color, English Language Learners, and students with disabilities.