"Pay my troops no mind; they're just on a fact-finding mission."

Horrific 10 Percent Literacy Rate Prompts ACLU to Sue Michigan Schools

Technically, the literacy rate is 99% in the US. A deeper look shows that roughly 33-55% of the population is incapable of reading comprehension, inferring information that isn’t directly stated, and basically doing anything beyond reading a TV guide and comparing the prices of concert tickets.

In the Highland Park school district, just outside of Detroit, only 10 percent of students from third to eighth grade are proficient in reading and math. As to be expected, the statistics get even worse as the students get older. Each year, kids in 11th grade take the Michigan Merit Exam to see if they are college-ready. In 2011, 90 percent of Highland Park students failed the reading portion, 97 percent failed the math section, and 100 percent failed the social studies and science portions.

On July 12, the ACLU of Michigan, along with eight students, stepped in. They filed a first-of-its-kind class-action lawsuit against the state of Michigan, its agencies charged with overseeing public education, and the Highland Park School District for failing to take the necessary and effective measures to ensure students are reading at grade level.

During their investigation, the ACLU collected writing samples from a few of the children. One of these students is Quentin, a 14-year-old boy who just finished seventh grade yet is reading at a first-grade level. His letter will “break your heart,” Moss said. “In the first sentence, he spells his name incorecctly.”


The racial makeup of the city was 4.11% White, 93.44% African American, 0.27% Native American, 0.24% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.25% from other races, and 1.67% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.57% of the population. Link

I’ve had an on-going project of looking at schools that have turned themselves around, I haven’t made any conclusions yet. I agree that the general population needs a chance to be educated, though education is freer and easier to get than ever before in history and we still see the usual suspects lagging behind. The other factor is that the top 10% cannot be neglected, they can carry even the shoddiest and dysfunctional systems on their shoulders with innovation and hyper-productive work.

One response to “Horrific 10 Percent Literacy Rate Prompts ACLU to Sue Michigan Schools

  1. Pingback: Linkage Is Good For You: 7-22-12: Holmes Killer Edition | Society of Amateur Gentlemen

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