Eight Detroit-area public school students returning to classes this week are plaintiffs against a school system they say has failed them. Their families and the American Civil Liberties Union say that the Highland Park school system has denied the students the right to learn to read, and that the state has a responsibility to fix that. Michelle Johnson has five children in Highland Park schools. Her daughter is heading into the 12th grade, but can read at only about the fourth-grade level. "It's heartbreaking every morning when you get up and people look in your face and say, 'Oh, that's that lady, her daughter can't read,' " Johnson says. ... The lawsuit accuses the state of failing to enforce a Michigan law that says students who do poorly on standardized reading tests — which are given in the fourth or seventh grades — must receive remedial help to bring them up to grade level. Rosenbaum is asking a judge to enforce that law. "The fact is that this is the first 'right to read' case, but it won't be the last," he says. "The reality is that there are children throughout Michigan and throughout the country whose ZIP code is determining their educational opportunities."
Monday, October 22, 2012
NPR: Detroit-Area Students Say They've Been Denied The Right To Read
Last year, I highlighted the growing illiteracy problem in the Detroit area. I also wrote a paper about how this was a social injustice issue in my social work program. Below is more evidence on how struggling school districts failed to teach remedial education to underprivileged students.