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Students sue school district for violating their ‘right to read’

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posted on Jul, 14 2012 @ 11:31 AM
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story from The Raw Story
By The Christian Science Monitor
July 14, 2012

Students sue school district for violating their ‘right to read’
 

The ACLU has filed what looks like a "first of its kind" lawsuit against the State of Michigan for failure to provide extra reading instruction for kids who are below standards.

The suit is focusing on a Detroit area school district.

"Officials" have apparently failed to give students the extra "remedial instruction" and/or "special assistance" that seems to be required by law.

I wonder where the U.S. Department of Education has been during these educational "shortfalls" ???

The Federal Government seems to be suing right and left over many other issues involving States.

Where's the "extra" money for special teachers ?

What does the current "Administration" say ?



Students are suing the state of Michigan and their Detroit-area school district for violating their “right to read.”

The class-action lawsuit appears to be the first of its kind, and potentially signals a new wave of civil rights litigation in the United States to enforce laws intended to boost academic achievement, education law experts say.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan filed what it has dubbed the “right to read” lawsuit on behalf of the nearly 1,000 students in the impoverished district.

Two-thirds of 4th-graders and three-quarters of 7th-graders in the Highland Park school district are not proficient on state reading tests; 90 percent of 12th-graders fail the reading portion of the final state test administered in high school, according to the complaint. Nearly 100 percent of the district’s students are African-American.

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

[the story continues]



And get a load out of THIS semi-Irony

U.S. Department of Education to Kick Off Let's Read!

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Personal Chef to the First Family Samuel Kass, and Cornell McClellan, fitness consultant and personal trainer to the First Family, will launch this year's Let's Read! Let's Move! summer enrichment series at the U.S. Department of Education .quarters building on Wednesday, July 11, at 12:00 p.m. ET. The goal of the series is to keep children moving, active, and reading over the summer months.

"Far too many children lose reading skills over the summer when schools aren't in session," Duncan said. "The way to reverse this trend is to keep students reading throughout the summer by encouraging them to find books that ignite their interests and imagination, which will fuel their passion to read even more. And parents can show their love of reading by reading to their kids on a regular basis."




posted on Jul, 14 2012 @ 11:39 AM
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"Far too many children lose reading skills over the summer when schools aren't in session," Duncan said. "The way to reverse this trend is to keep students reading throughout the summer by encouraging them to find books that ignite their interests and imagination, which will fuel their passion to read even more. And parents can show their love of reading by reading to their kids on a regular basis."

....And that is why we need to disband the Department of Education and bring Education standards and leadership back to local and ACCOUNTABLE levels. If the reading instruction they're getting is so shallow and ineffective that they are forgetting and losing it over the shorter and shorter summer breaks they get then the instruction wasn't worth a damn.

I've never thought of reading as a perishable skill unless it's being taught strictly to the level of passing a friggen test and not as a critical life skill which makes or breaks a person's future. There is no excuse for so much of this 'stinkin thinkin' in the school system. It's not a lack of money or time and the kids aren't stupid. We have idiots running it.



posted on Jul, 14 2012 @ 11:41 AM
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I think the ACLU needs to be disbanded sometimes honestly. I mean really, this is a nonsense lawsuit. I get the meaning and don't disagree that the education system is junk, but how is money going to solve the problem?

We need proper education in the United States, not more lawsuits by desperate groups attempting to stay relevant.

~Tenth



posted on Jul, 14 2012 @ 11:44 AM
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Why do you apparently have such hatred for the idea of helping kids learn to read? I don't understand your position on this at all!

(Not that I ever understand your positions very well...
)

Anyway, I think encouraging parents to keep their kids reading through the summer is a great thing. I mean, that's what my parents did.

I don't agree that the school should be sued. That's stupid. But if the kids aren't learning to read at school, someone isn't doing their job. That is what needs to be remedied, IMO. If providing more care for those who aren't "getting it" as fast as others, that's what the school needs to do.

I'm not sure what your beef is. I don't see the irony and I'm just very confused by your post.



posted on Jul, 14 2012 @ 11:49 AM
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Well, on the one hand the lawsuit seems frivolous, and it is nobody's "right" to get "extra" instruction. The school should provide whatever it provides, and if anything extra is needed, that is up to the parents and community and student.

On the other hand, it says some of these kids are in 4th and 7th grade? The school district is certainly at fault if it is passing kids to the next grade without passing the previous one with adequate skill. The school district is basically hiding its failures and accepting more local and federal money without providing the education it is supposed to be providing.

I see no problem with flunking the kids that can't make the grade, but if you pass them fraudulently, then you have to pay the piper when you get caught.

In this case, the ACLU might actually have a case.



posted on Jul, 14 2012 @ 11:52 AM
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I walk tha corner to tha rubble that used to be a library
Line up to tha mind cemetery now
What we don't know keeps tha contracts alive an movin'
They don't gotta burn tha books they just remove 'em

Read more at www.songmeanings.net...


Money is the only relevant in America.

Finally people are taking steps towards personal empowerment.



posted on Jul, 14 2012 @ 11:53 AM
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No Child Left Behind....right?

more like- all children left behind- in the dust.

If they arent making the grades, then they shouldnt be passing these kids to the next grade levels. Period.

Hope my reply wasnt too off topic.



posted on Jul, 14 2012 @ 12:02 PM
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Of course, there is more to the story.
The Highland Park school district has been in a distressed state for probably years.
In Michigan, there is an emergency manager law.
And, it was an accepted plan to help troubled areas of the state while Democrat Granholm was Governor.
That all changed when Michigan elected Republican Governor Snyder.

They are trying to make the Highland Park district a charter district
www.mlive.com...

Highland Park School District’s emergency manager is recommending the financially struggling system be turned over to a charter school operator to help pay down the system’s debt while still providing an education.


www.huffingtonpost.com...

The new public-charter system would end current union contracts in Highland Park's schools. Current staff and teachers would be fired but could reapply to the new district.


Suddenly, it seems, the ACLU dot involved and is suing. One wonders why the sudden interest in children not reading

edit on Sat Jul 14 2012 by DontTreadOnMe because: speeling



posted on Jul, 14 2012 @ 12:13 PM
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posted in error.....n/m
edit on Jul-14-2012 by xuenchen because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 14 2012 @ 12:55 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I don't agree that the school should be sued. That's stupid. But if the kids aren't learning to read at school, someone isn't doing their job. That is what needs to be remedied, IMO. If providing more care for those who aren't "getting it" as fast as others, that's what the school needs to do.

I'm not sure what your beef is. I don't see the irony and I'm just very confused by your post.


I'm confused by your response BH. Sometimes a law suit is necessary to force the district to do what you and I wish they would do on their own:


The lawsuit asks the court to require the district to improve such conditions and provide quality implementation of research-based approaches to bring up students’ literacy.



posted on Jul, 14 2012 @ 01:27 PM
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reply to post by Iamonlyhuman
 


Yes, sometimes a lawsuit is necessary, but students suing for violating their "right to read"? If they're going to sue, it should be because the school is not doing their job (if they're not). I'm not sure we have enough information to know what's going on here.



posted on Jul, 14 2012 @ 01:38 PM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 


It looks like the lawsuit is asking for the law to be "enforced" (whatever that means).


According to state law, students who do not score satisfactorily on state reading tests in 4th or 7th grade “shall be provided special assistance” to bring skills to grade level within 12 months.....


The lawsuit asks the court to require the district to improve such conditions and provide quality implementation of research-based approaches to bring up students’ literacy.


My question is; where are the Feds ??

Unless this has already been complied with and the results are not well received ??

Maybe the teachers can't "teach" up to par ?



posted on Jul, 14 2012 @ 08:06 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
reply to post by Iamonlyhuman
 


Yes, sometimes a lawsuit is necessary, but students suing for violating their "right to read"? If they're going to sue, it should be because the school is not doing their job (if they're not). I'm not sure we have enough information to know what's going on here.

In reading the article, I'm getting the impression this is about more. It looks to me like they are using this as a perfectly valid issue to highlight everything else at the same time. One description of the physical buildings sounds like it's all falling apart from top to bottom. This is Detroit though, so it doesn't surprise me a bit and I feel for those kids.

I don't mean sarcasm there either. Detroit is the 'big city' which is laying off cops left and right, has abandoned buildings everywhere and you too can own your own home for under $10,000. No kidding. The real estate market there isn't bad, it simply doesn't exist as such. Beirut in America comes to mind....

So if suing gets these kids something, well, more power to them. Goodness knows I'm watching kids being passed up the chain who are questionable at best right here, let alone a city that far into the abyss.



posted on Jul, 15 2012 @ 09:43 AM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 

Actually, this isn't Detroit.

Highland Park is a land-locked suburb of Detroit.
Three weeks or so ago, the school system was taken over by a financial manager. All of a sudden, the ACLU sues because the children cannot read.....
www.abovetopsecret.com...
Test results for Highland Park, as compared to Michigan.....there is a downward trend....
www.localschooldirectory.com...



posted on Jul, 15 2012 @ 09:51 AM
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You can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink.

I challenge the ACLU to give me one example where someone has picked up a book on their own time and was forbidden to read it. If they can do that I will donate $50 to them.



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