Know Your Educational Rights: Youth, Parent, Educator, and Community Engagement | Teachers College Columbia University

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Campaign for Educational Equity

Know Your Educational Rights:
Youth, Parent, Educator, and Community Engagement

Our Know Your Educational Rights (KYER) initiative aims to bring rights-centered, research-based, user-friendly information and tools to the general public, but especially to students and parents, the education stakeholders most directly affected by educational inequities. KYER promotes leadership development, self-advocacy, and public accountability through a powerful combination of straightforward handouts, community-based partnerships, and do-it-yourself research tools. Read the summaries below to learn more about each component. 

Several years ago, our team published the first-ever compilation of students' educational rights under New York State law. After undertaking an extensive research project to investigate educational inadequacies in high-needs schools around the state, we published detailed findings of widespread educational-rights violations. Our growing Know Your Educational Rights Handout Series summarizes those rights and findings in user-friendly language that helps families and other New Yorkers understand and advocate for the opportunities that New York public schools must be equipped to provide. One shouldn't need a law degree or a master's degree in policy to understand children's rights!

To date, we have published free, downloadable handouts on students' general constitutional right to a "sound basic education" and in the following specific resource areas: class size, curriculum and course offerings, required services for students struggling academically, resources for English language learners, instructional materials, physical education, facilities, and school libraries.

Please share them with your school and community, and stay tuned for new handouts in additional resource areas!

View/Download our handouts

Educational Equity Action!, the youth-activism arm of Know Your Educational Rights, promotes youth voice in the fight for educational equity through intensive partnerships with youth-development organizations specializing in the arts and/or community organizing. Aided by our research and public-engagement teams and mentored by staff from our partner organizations, youth participants develop projects that inform, inspire, and mobilize other community members.During the Summer of 2016, Educational Equity Action! teamed up with THE POINT CDC, a phenomenal South Bronx-centered youth development organization, for a six-week series of interactive workshops based on our Know Your Educational Rights public-engagement model and THE POINT’s Camp PowerPoint program.

On August 11, youth participating in THE POINT’s Music and A.C.T.I.O.N. “majors”–having studied our Know Your Educational Rights handouts; interviewed students, parents, and other education leaders; and reflected on their personal in-school experiences–used their artistic talents to encourage their community to fight for educational equity!



Know Your Educational Rights Workshop Series, facilitated in collaboration with parent-leadership organizations, fosters community-centered, family-led research and advocacy that ensures students the adequate school resources to which they are entitled under state law.

Our Know Your Educational Rights Resource Inventories offer students, parents, educators, and other key stakeholders a user-friendly research toolkit for assessing the levels of educational opportunity in a particular school, or across schools, against the set of opportunities guaranteed under the law.