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April 10, 2013

Right to Read lawsuit filed in Michigan

Wisconsin Reading Coalition, via a kind email:

The ACLU has filed a civil rights action on behalf of Michigan students who, despite not being proficient in reading, have not received the legally-required intervention intended to bring them to grade level within 12 months. Defendants in the lawsuit include the Highland Park School District, the charter operator to whom responsibility for HPSD was delegated, and other individuals and educational entities at the state and local level.

Under Michigan law, "Excluding special education pupils, pupils having a learning disability, and pupils with extenuating circumstances as determined by school officials, a pupil who does not score satisfactorily on the 4th or 7th grade [MEAP] reading test shall be provided special assistance reasonably expected to enable the pupil to bring his or her reading skills to grade level within 12 months." [MCL 380.1278(8).]

In 2011-12, only 35% of 4th graders and 25% of 7th graders in HPSD scored proficient or better on the state reading test. According to the complaint, "There is no excuse for the deprivations of educational opportunity described in this Complaint. Consistent with the statutory and constitutional provisions cited, it has been repeatedly recognized that nearly all children can learn to read and achieve literacy skills and knowledge appropriate to their age and development with adequate intervention where necessary. Under the State's own content standards, all students should be able to read fluently, accurately, and with appropriate intonation and expression by second grade. Education research has demonstrated the effectiveness of structured, systematic, direct and explicit teaching of the English language reading code to all children, including older students who are substantially behind in their reading ability and related skills."

Read the complaint here [PDF].

Many links, here.

Related: Madison's disastrous reading results.

Posted by Jim Zellmer at April 10, 2013 4:25 PM
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