Accessing so many of Americans’ fundamental rights requires an ability to read. To vote, understand contracts and documents, access public information about the government, or contact elected representatives, literacy is key.
A federal judge rejected a lawsuit representing Detroit students over poorly funded, "slum-like" schools not doing enough to promote literacy.
He said kids don’t have a fundamental right to learn how to read and write. pic.twitter.com/eZJrrUlAAS
— AJ+ (@ajplus) July 2, 2018
A federal judge ruled, however, that while American children have the right to a free and public education, they have no fundamental right to literacy.
A US district judge just ruled that students do not have a guaranteed right to access to being taught literacy.
This is the barbaric racist capitalist country we live in, where the only "rights" that are guaranteed are property rights for the rich.https://t.co/EGhGA9Q7JX
— Ben Norton (@BenjaminNorton) July 2, 2018
According to the Detroit Free Press:
‘The ruling came in a federal lawsuit that was closely watched across the U.S. because of its potential impact: Filed on behalf of Detroit students, it sought to hold a dozen state officials — including Gov. Rick Snyder — accountable for what plaintiffs said were systemic failures that deprived Detroit children of their right to literacy.
‘The lawsuit sought remedies that included literacy reforms, a systemic approach to instruction and intervention, as well as fixes to crumbling Detroit schools. Earlier this month, officials with the Detroit Public Schools Community District said it would cost $500 million to bring school buildings up to par.’
— DHH (@dhh) July 2, 2018
The long-lasting effects of illiteracy are well-known. Children with parents who struggle to read are 72 percent more likely to struggle to read themselves, creating an unending cycle. In Michigan, the literacy rate is falling and parents are left with no recourse in improving their children’s situation. All of Michigan, and particularly Detroit, are already seeing the effects.
‘The ruling also comes as the state ups the stakes for third-graders. Beginning with the 2019-20 school year, schools must begin holding back third-graders who are more than a grade level behind on reading assessments. Last year, just 44 percent of the third-graders who took the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress passed the exam; the year before, it was 46 percent. In Detroit, far fewer students are proficient in reading.’
Literacy is not a fundamental right, federal judge in Detroit Schools case says https://t.co/IXzoJ383Eq
— MLive (@MLive) July 2, 2018
In the wealthiest country in the world, can we not do better than this for our children?
Featured image via Getty/Mark Wilson