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Is literacy a 'right'?


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The lawsuit described in the article below seems to think so. But as all rational people know, 'literacy' is an outcome based on myriad factors. Not the least of which is a willing participant. Like many other large urban districts, Detroit gets a great deal of per student funding. Despite that, the results are horrible. Mismanagement, malfeasance, outright fraud combined with a corrupt teachers union and non-involved parents is a guaranteed recipe for disaster.

 

 

http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/education/2016/11/20/state-says-literacy-right-detroit/94193032/

 

"State says literacy not a right in Detroit

 

Attorneys for Gov. Rick Snyder and state education officials say no fundamental right to literacy exists for Detroit schoolchildren who are suing the state over the quality of their education.

The lawyers are asking a federal judge to reject what they call an “attempt to destroy the American tradition of democratic control of schools.”

Timothy J. Haynes, an assistant attorney general, made those statements in a 62-page motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed against Snyder and state education leaders in September by seven Detroit children who allege decades of state disinvestment and deliberate indifference to the city schools have denied them access to literacy.

The motion was filed last week in U.S. District Court in Detroit.

Haynes says claims laid out by plaintiffs — including deplorable building conditions, lack of books, classrooms without teachers, insufficient desks, buildings plagued by vermin, unsafe facilities and extreme temperatures — go far beyond mere access to education.

“(They) ask this court to serve as a ‘super’ Legislature tasked with determining and dictating educational policy in every school district and school building throughout the United States where an illiterate child may be found,” the response says.

“Such a path would effectively supersede democratic control by voters and the judgment of parents, allowing state and federal courts to peer over the shoulders of teachers and administrators and substitute court judgment for the professional judgment of educators.”

The Detroit schoolchildren, represented by a California public interest law firm, sued state officials Sept. 13 in what legal observers say is an unprecedented attempt to establish that literacy is a U.S. constitutional right.

The suit claims the state has functionally excluded Detroit children from the state’s educational system. It seeks class-action status and several guarantees of equal access to literacy, screening, intervention, a statewide accountability system and other measures.

Attorneys representing the students say the filing highlights shocking problems in some Detroit schools and is the first of its kind in the nation that seeks to secure students’ legal right to literacy under the 14th Amendment.

The state is asking U.S. District Judge Stephen Murphy III to dismiss the case, saying the U.S. Supreme Court and Michigan courts do recognize the importance of literacy, but reject claims it is a legal right.

“But as important as literacy may be, the United States Supreme Court has unambiguously rejected the claim that public education is a fundamental right under the Constitution. Literacy is a component or particular outcome of education, not a right granted to individuals by the Constitution,” Haynes says.

In his motion, Haynes denies the state of Michigan has been responsible for the operation of the schools in Detroit since 1999, which is alleged in the lawsuit, and says the state does not operate or control public schools in Detroit.

“Contrary to plaintiffs’ assertions, the ‘state’ never ran any of the schools, although emergency managers have been appointed to supplant local authority, where necessary,” Haynes says.

DPS has been under the control of a state-appointed emergency financial manager since 2009. Emergency Manager Steven Rhodes is scheduled to step down on Dec. 31 and a newly elected Board of Education begins its work on Jan. 1.

Kathryn Eidmann, staff attorney for Public Counsel, which is representing the schoolchildren, said the state’s response was disappointing and did not come as a surprise.

What Eidmann says she found interesting was: the 62-page motion ignored the grim reality Detroit schoolchildren face every day inside classrooms.

“There is no mention about the fact that hardly any of the students have access to teachers or books. These are schools where no state officials or state lawyer would send their child,” she said.

DPS has struggled for years with declining enrollment, comparatively low test scores and spending scandals that have left students without needed supplies.

A $617 million aid package approved by lawmakers this summer relieved the district of nearly a half-billion dollar debt and provided $150 million in startup funding for a new, debt-free Detroit Public Schools Community District.

The plaintiffs are students at four of the lowest-performing schools at the Detroit Public School Community District: Hamilton Academy; Medicine and Community Health Academy at Cody; Osborn Collegiate Academy of Mathematics, Science and Technology; and Osborn Evergreen Academy of Design and Alternative Energy.

One plaintiff is a former student at Experiencia Preparatory Academy, a privately operated charter school that closed in June.

The lawsuit is asking the court to order the state to provide relief that includes “appropriate, evidence-based literacy” instruction at all grade levels and to address physical school conditions that impair access to literacy.

Murphy is expected to hear motions from both Public Counsel and the state in February to decide whether the case moves forward.

jchambers@detroitnews.com

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I would think they would have to prove that the State of Michigan was INTENTIONALLY preventing the plaintiffs from becoming literate. I would think that would be very hard to prove.

 

It is completely reasonable to expect that any child with even a fairly low IQ learn how to read in a public school. I do not see how it could be considered a RIGHT, however. There are some people who cannot be taught to learn to read.

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I would think they would have to prove that the State of Michigan was INTENTIONALLY preventing the plaintiffs from becoming literate. I would think that would be very hard to prove.

 

It is completely reasonable to expect that any child with even a fairly low IQ learn how to read in a public school. I do not see how it could be considered a RIGHT, however. There are some people who cannot be taught to learn to read.

+1

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Yeah, shut down American education and let the rich fucks pay for private schools if they want them. Let the children run lose in the neighborhoods. They want to read, there is a library somewhere with books in it.

Nobody is saying that,

 

 

Must you lie?

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That is socialism isn't it shin?

I don't know how anyone who wanted to learn to read and write couldn't in this world.

 

Interesting lawsuit for sure.

That is socialism denied school children. You can bet you ass it works in the rich neighborhoods. But the point is, under this capitalist system children do not have a right to education.

 

And Trump will work to eliminate it altogether. "A lot of people believe the Department of Education should just be eliminated. Get rid of it," Trump says.

 

So get rid of that socialist program cons.

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I would think they would have to prove that the State of Michigan was INTENTIONALLY preventing the plaintiffs from becoming literate. I would think that would be very hard to prove.

 

It is completely reasonable to expect that any child with even a fairly low IQ learn how to read in a public school. I do not see how it could be considered a RIGHT, however. There are some people who cannot be taught to learn to read.

Well said. I agree.

Yeah, shut down American education and let the rich fucks pay for private schools if they want them. Let the children run lose in the neighborhoods. They want to read, there is a library somewhere with books in it.

Don't light a match around all that straw....

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"A lot of people believe the Department of Education should just be eliminated. Get rid of it." Trump says with his match.

Poor attempt at analogy young lady. There are indeed a lot of people who believe the Dept of Education should be eliminated, myself being one of them.

 

It serves no useful purpose and is clearly unconstitutional.

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We can have no national standards without something like a Dept. of Education. When companies decide where to locate, they need to know something about the educational abilities of the people in the area.

 

An education is vital to the "General Welfare" of the nation and therefore is NOT unconstitutional.

If you think it serves no purpose, it is because you do not know what it does. We cannot eliminate some sort of national or federal entity that coordinates education. This is necessary for determining what is taught in schools on military bases and the like around the world.

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We can have no national standards without something like a Dept. of Education. When companies decide where to locate, they need to know something about the educational abilities of the people in the area.

 

An education is vital to the "General Welfare" of the nation and therefore is NOT unconstitutional.

If you think it serves no purpose, it is because you do not know what it does. We cannot eliminate some sort of national or federal entity that coordinates education. This is necessary for determining what is taught in schools on military bases and the like around the world.

There are plenty of adults in the respective states that are capable and willing to coordinate an education system. As you probably know only around 7% (last I heard) of a school's funding is federal. That funding, of course, comes with strings, which is the problem.

 

Ours is a republic of states that get to determine these sorts of things without the federal govt. being involved. As we have discussed prior, your interpretation of 'promoting the general welfare' is much different than mine (or Madison's et al). Your interpretation would not limit the federal govt. in almost ANY manner thus nullifying the whole notion of a republic of states.

 

As far as educational policy on military bases etc., of course that should be determined at the federal level.

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Well, the federal government is not going to stop funding education, is it? So why should it just send money out and offer nary a suggestion about what the states can do with it?

 

Ours is a republic of states that get to determine these sorts of things without the federal govt. being involved.

 

Oh, bullshit! That is not even vaguely true. The federal government requires all manner of standards be imposed on such things as highways and bridges and safety regulations for items sold interstate commerce.

 

As we have discussed prior, your interpretation of 'promoting the general welfare' is much different than mine (or Madison's et al). Your interpretation would not limit the federal govt. in almost ANY manner thus nullifying the whole notion of a republic of states. Your are damn right. That is how it should be. Nullify the sumbitch. This is not 50 countries.

 

I do not give a damn about Madison or his opinions. He lived in an entirely different time as I do. I have lived in ten states, and there is very little difference between them. We are better off with national standards than 50 state standards. I do not give a flying f*ck about your notion of a republic of states. No one ever gave me (or any living American) a chance to ratify a single word that Madison said. He was not God, his words are not divine, screw Madison.

 

As far as educational policy on military bases etc., of course that should be determined at the federal level.

 

Based on what? Mississippi standards? The NY Regents' Exams? I don't see where this is a decision for the military to make.

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You can make the kid enjoy learning, even if the parents are unlearned.

Good teachers are good motivators.

 

It may be true that there are a teeny number of children that cannot be inspired to learn. But most children have a natural sense of curiosity and can be inspired to learn and enjoy learning.

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There are hundreds of autobiographies of people whose parents were ne'er do wells, alcoholics and worse that went to school, were fascinated by what they learned and became authorities in their fields. Usually, it is a teacher or a guardian or relative that plays a part in this happening.

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There are hundreds of autobiographies of people whose parents were ne'er do wells, alcoholics and worse that went to school, were fascinated by what they learned and became authorities in their fields. Usually, it is a teacher or a guardian or relative that plays a part in this happening.

+ 1

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There are hundreds of autobiographies of people whose parents were ne'er do wells, alcoholics and worse that went to school, were fascinated by what they learned and became authorities in their fields. Usually, it is a teacher or a guardian or relative that plays a part in this happening.

Absolutely correct. As there are myriad examples of great parents where the results were not so good.

 

Most of these folks did not need the federal govt. to achieve their goals.

 

The homeschooling revolution shall continue. TRUE educational freedom.

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Homeschooling is suitable only if the parents themselves are sufficiently dedicated and knowledgeable, which is not all that common. I hardly call it a "revolution". It is more of a "regression". The parents cannot impart knowledge that they are ignorant of to their children. And I doubt that most parents are that knowledgeable. Some, perhaps, but certainly not even a majority.

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I would think they would have to prove that the State of Michigan was INTENTIONALLY preventing the plaintiffs from becoming literate. I would think that would be very hard to prove.

 

It is completely reasonable to expect that any child with even a fairly low IQ learn how to read in a public school. I do not see how it could be considered a RIGHT, however. There are some people who cannot be taught to learn to read.

 

You mean Detroit has been ran by Democrats for close to 50-60 years now, so yes, it very possible that they are doing just that intentionally.

 

It's mandatory that you keep your "voters stupid" and the lack of providing QUALITY education has been going on by the Democrats for WAY to long now for it NOT to be intentional.

 

How else can you fool and entire race of people and it NOT be intentional in doing that???

Homeschooling is suitable only if the parents themselves are sufficiently dedicated and knowledgeable, which is not all that common. I hardly call it a "revolution". It is more of a "regression". The parents cannot impart knowledge that they are ignorant of to their children. And I doubt that most parents are that knowledgeable. Some, perhaps, but certainly not even a majority.

 

So why do the overwhelming majority of Home schooled students in Universities and Colleges excel at rates far above those coming from public schools?

 

You should bone up on some FACTS before you spew out some drivel like this.

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Homeschooling is suitable only if the parents themselves are sufficiently dedicated and knowledgeable, which is not all that common. I hardly call it a "revolution". It is more of a "regression". The parents cannot impart knowledge that they are ignorant of to their children. And I doubt that most parents are that knowledgeable. Some, perhaps, but certainly not even a majority.

It is not a 'regression'. Anytime one can get away from the government schools, that is a good thing.

 

The part you are missing is that many homeschooling parents do not do it all themselves. They freely assemble with other like-minded parents and form co-ops that hire teachers capable of teaching the differing subjects. Thank God we are still free to educate our children in the way we see fit in this country!

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