28 November 2016

Betsy Devos' Educational Paradise

Detroit's privatization of its schools is a complete clusterf%$#, even charter school and voucher advocates find it so.

There is a preponderance of private for profit operators and abysmal results, to the degree that New Orleans is doing an order of magnitude better.

This is largely because of the pernicious effect of the DeVos family donating huge sums of money to short circuit any review or oversight of charter schools and voucher recipients.

Well, now it has reached its logical conclusion, with the state of Michigan arguing that literacy is not a right, and so there can be no review of the catastrophic state of affairs in Detroit:
The State of Michigan wants a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit seeking to establish a constitutional right to literacy.

"The United States Supreme Court and Michigan courts recognize the importance of literacy," state lawyers wrote in a response last week to a suit filed on behalf of Detroit school children. "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."


"The response completely fails to engage with the 136-page complaint’s specific and detailed allegations documenting the extreme and indefensible conditions that deny children access to literacy in Detroit schools: classrooms without books or teachers, sweltering and freezing temperatures, vermin infestations, and buildings that are literally falling apart," Eidmann said. "Each day that the state chooses to fight this lawsuit is another day of education lost that may never be recovered. Would the state try to wash its hands of this matter if the students suffering were not children of color from low-income families?"

The lawsuit filed Sept. 13 on behalf of seven Detroit schoolchildren claims the State of Michigan has failed to provide them with basic literacy, a foundation of all education and a precursor to active citizenship. It asks the federal courts to order remedies, including "evidence-based literacy reforms," a systemic approach to instruction and intervention as well as fixes to crumbling Detroit schools.
A shorter version of this is that the State of Michigan is saying that children of minorities do not deserve a proper education.


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