About half of Detroit can't read


Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/03/23/about-half-of-detroit-cant-r.html


But school choice vouchers will solve this!





Not saying this is fixed now, but this report does seem to be from 2011.


I had a neighbor once who occasionally asked me to “check out” her mail. At first I figured she couldn’t tell the scams from the real “important government documents.” Later I realized she was probably illiterate. Having grown up in the suburbs, I was stunned. In all my years I had never before knowingly met somebody who actually couldn’t read.

Now they say we may have an illiterate president.


DRWF has a link to a newer piece on their site that did not work. The director has been promoting skilled trades, but many major construction projects bring in outside workers despite fines surpassing $500K because they say they can’t find enough skilled workers. https://michronicleonline.com/2016/12/13/detroit-regional-workforce-fund-prepares-detroiters-for-skilled-trades/


I think that should read, “illegitimate”; its an easy mistake to make :wink:


No, I mean nobody has ever seen him read anything. Like… ever.


[quote=“davide405, post:2, topic:97553”]
But school choice vouchers will did solve this!

/s[/quote]Let’s stick to the actual message of DeVos.

[quote=One of Many Articles]While previous education secretaries, including the Obama appointees Arne Duncan and John King, have endorsed models such as charter schools, DeVos has been scrutinized for her connection to unfettered charter growth in Detroit, where—over two decades after Michigan’s charter experiment began—the competition enabled by school choice generally hasn’t lived up to the promise of better options.

More than half of Detroit’s school-aged students attend a charter school, but last year fewer than 1 percent of the city’s schools were given an A or B+ grade, according to Excellent Schools Detroit, a clearinghouse for school shoppers in the Motor City. Eighty percent of the state’s charter operators are for-profit, which not only reduces financial accountability, but has also earned Michigan a nickname as the “Wild Wild West” for education.[/quote]


If anything, the situation is now probably worse with the explosion of charter schools in the city.

I’d just like to point out that while everyone just loves to shit on Detroit, illiteracy is a big problem nation-wide. There’s been a directed effort to defund public education for 30 years in the US. The results are masses of people who can’t read, do rudimentary math, have no sense of history and don’t understand that science isn’t something to be believed in. In another 30 years, the US will be lucky to be as prosperous as a Second World nation.


The last illiterate president we had was Andrew Johnson, who left office in 1868.


Didn’t he read out his “favourite every Irish proverb that he has loved and used for so many years”? :wink:

Also, if Trump is illiterate, who the fuck is doing all that tweeting? :open_mouth:


Good point. Why didn’t I think of that? Maybe it’s John Barron.


It’s also important to note that school or choice/charter schools have been available in Detroit for ~20 years. As it has gotten more prevalent, the split between the quality of rich and poor schools has widened tremendously. I got a great high school education, but if I drove to the neighboring district I would have been in one of the worst school districts in the country in the early 00s.


I absolutely hate this. Those things alone lead to subsistence wages, and thus subsistence living, which does NOT allow a person to climb Mazlowe’s heirarchy.
Working at a fast food shop (or equivalent) is slavery-lite, and not addressing this, is part of how society has gotten to this era of madness.


We don’t realize how widespread illiteracy is, but it’s way more widespread than we tend to think. When I was in Indiana, I heard that there were one million illiterate adults there, and the population of Indiana couldn’t have been more than five million at the time. These stats for Detroit don’t surprise me much.


This is probably most of the US, including the college educated. Our education system is set on cram and forget, so few retain what they learned in school and even fewer know why it matters.


But then why does he keep a book of Hitler speeches beside his bed, huh? Explain that one, smart guy!


• We also know that of the 200,000 adults who are functionally illiterate, approximately half have a high school diploma or GED, so this issue cannot be solely addressed by a focus on adult high-school completion.

Ok, so, what does “functionally illiterate” mean? How the hell can you go through all or part of high school and get a diploma/GED and be illiterate. I am just having a very hard time wrapping my head around this.


I moved to Michigan in 1995, as the push to legalize charters was underway. It was painfully obvious that charters had nothing to do with improved educational outcomes, and everything to do with siphoning public dollars into private pockets with breaking the teacher’s union as an intended side effect. The dipshits in Lansing enshrined charters into law, and things have gotten predictably worse. The teacher’s union, though, seems unshaken.