8th Grader had to Teach Math Class for a Month in Detroit, Lawsuit Alleges

by Josh Guckert

On Tuesday a lawsuit was filed in federal court against Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and other state education officials. The suit, filed on behalf of seven black and Latino students, alleges “slum-like conditions” at schools “lacking the most basic educational opportunities.” The students allege a violation of the 14th Amendment due to “separate and unequal” accommodations.

The Herald News reports:

Last year, the seventh- and eighth-grade math teacher at Hamilton left the school due to frustration about class size and lack of support. After a few failed attempts finding a replacement, the “highest performing” eighth-grade student took over teaching both grade levels for a month, the suit alleges.

“As a direct result of the State’s failure,” the suit says, proficiency rates at the plaintiff’s schools hover around zero for all subjects. Students often struggle to write complete sentences, let alone essays or longer assignments. In one instance, an eleventh grader asked how to spell the word “the.”

For libertarians, these alleged results are quite foreseeable. With government in charge of any area, the results will necessarily lack in accountability. Though the market decides upon the best solutions due to signals from consumers, bureaucracy has no such indicator. Furthermore, the Department of Education and other state apparatuses prevent coherency or succinctness in solutions. Many teachers become bogged down with paperwork and accommodating government rather than concentrating on teaching.

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