Taking the right to learn to read seriously

˙ PREAL Blog

This post is also available in: Spanish

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is taking education accountability to a new level by suing the State of Michigan and an under-performing Detroit-area school district for violating children’s “right to learn to read.”

The case is based on a Michigan state law requiring that students who are not proficient in reading be provided “special assistance” to help them catch up with their peers within a year. The ACLU argues that 65% of fourth-graders and 75% of seventh-graders in the school district are not proficient in reading, and most have never participated in remedial programs. It says that “if education is to mean anything, it means that children have a right to learn to read.”

This may be the first time in the United States that a public school system has been taken to court for failing to teach children to read.

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