Only 7% Of Detroit Public School 8th Graders Can Read Proficiently

December 12, 2012

Only 7% Of Detroit Public School 8th Graders Can Read Proficiently
Terence P. Jeffrey writes for CNS:

In the public schools in Detroit, Mich., according to the U.S. Department of Education, only 7 percent of the eighth graders are grade-level proficient or better in reading.

…Statewide in Michigan, only 32 percent of public-school eighth gradersscored grade-level proficient or better in reading, and only 31 percent scored grade-level proficient or better in math.

…Over the past decade, Michigan’s public school have shown no improvement at all in teaching children how to read. In 2002 just as in 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Education, only 32 percent of Michigan public-school eighth graders scored proficient or better in reading.

Meanwhile, teachers’ union members ditched the kids to lobby against Michigan Governor Snyder’s right-to-work reforms, which would allow teachers to work without being forced to pay union dues. Lindsay M. Burke writes for FoxNews:

Linda Moore, the President of a local union affiliate in Michigan, said the protests are about “our students’ future.” That would be true only if by “our children” she means those who are forced to attend an assigned government school. Unions consistently use the money teachers are forced to contribute to lobby against reforms — such as school choice — that are in the best interest of children.

Governor Snyder’s efforts have the support of the workers that will be affected. Over half of Michigan voters support the effort, and 40 percent of union households are in favor. Yet organized labor’s bosses see this as such a threat to their entrenched power that they will go so far as to leave children sitting at home, or on the streets, when they should be at school.

Sadly, the union’s tactics aren’t new. The educational futures of 5,000 Louisiana children now hang in the balance because the teachers’ union has filed suit against the state’s newly minted voucher program. The Chicago teachers’ union forced schools to shut down this fall for an entire week, in order for education employees to demand an increase to their already extravagant salaries and benefits. Teachers’ unions have tried similar scare tactics recently in Oklahoma, Arizona, and Wisconsin.

Here’s hoping the children’s unscheduled absence from school will be short-lived. Governor Snyder could sign the right-to-work legislation into law as early as today. Not only would that be great news for Michigan workers, but 26,000 children could return to their classrooms.

Here’s reason.com on school choice.

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