Teachers and students from Californian schools are teaming up with lawyers to sue the California Department of Education over unbelievable state illiteracy rates.
The lawsuit was filed with Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday by the advocacy firm Public Counsel.
According to Public Counsel, Californian public schools are failing at even the most basic education, and far too many kids aren’t even learning how to read.
According to Mark Rosenbaum, one of the lawyers involved in the lawsuit, Californian schools are “dragging the nation down.”
“The state has long been aware of the urgency and the depth of the all-too-preventable literacy crisis, and yet it has not implemented a single targeted literacy program to remedy this crisis,” Mark Rosenbaum, Public Counsel’s director of opportunity under law, said in an online press conference, according to Education Week.
About five years ago, California’s superintendent and board of education president issued a report that suggested methods to increase the state’s literacy rate. The lawsuit alleges that California has not followed through on these suggestions, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The lawsuit represents current and former students and teachers from three of California’s lowest performing schools: Van Buren Elementary School in Stockton; La Salle Avenue Elementary School in Los Angeles; and Children of Promise Preparatory Academy in Inglewood.
Unbelievably, less than half of Californian students in grades three to five are literate.
The Sacramento Bee reports:
A group of prominent lawyers representing teachers and students from poor performing schools sued California on Tuesday, arguing that the state has done nothing about a high number of schoolchildren who do not know how to read.
The advocacy law firm, Public Counsel, filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court to demand the California Department of Education address its “literacy crisis.” The state has not followed suggestions from its own report on the problem five years ago, the lawsuit said.
“When it comes to literacy and the delivery of basic education, California is dragging down the nation,” said Public Counsel lawyer Mark Rosenbaum, who sued along with the law firm Morrison & Foerster.
Assessments found less than half of California students from third grade to fifth grade have met statewide literacy standards since 2015. Both traditional and charter schools are failing, Rosenbaum said.
Of the 26 lowest-performing districts in the nation, 11 are in California, according to the lawsuit. Texas, the largest state after California, has only one district among the 26.
According to the lawsuit, 96 percent of students at La Salle Avenue Elementary School aren’t proficient in Math or English. I can’t imagine a worse track record. It’s as if these kids aren’t even going to school.
I can certainly see why Rosenbaum says California’s shoddy education is “bringing down the nation.”
There is absolutely no excuse for why half of California’s public school elementary kids (of reading age) shouldn’t be able to read.
According to the lawsuit, California isn’t even making an effort to improve. They’re not even following their own suggestions, and literacy programs are being kicked down the road.
Is the state of California to blame? Have teachers not been trained well enough? They are teachers after all. Haven’t they already been trained on how to teach kids to read?
Tell us what you think the problem is, and leave your comment in the section below.