Literacy drops 75% for third graders
FLINT, MI — Giving his last State of the State address in Michigan, Governor Rick Snyder gave deafening silence to yet another consequence of the Flint Water Crisis. Third grade literacy fell from 41.8% (a crises unto itself) to a shocking 10.7%—nearly a 75% drop!
Why is reading by the end of third grade so important? Research has demonstrated that students not reading proficiently at the end of third grade are four times more likely to not finish high school.
Dismissing the lead effect, the devastating literacy results were handled the same way the Lead laden Water Crisis was first handled: ignore the issue and pretend it does not exist. Even today, the state is promoting experts to tell it what it wants to hear: that the water is fine with a water filter.
A recent study from the University of Michigan School of Public Health took the governor to task for its role in perpetrating the Flint Water Crisis, particularly for his lack of oversight of State Agencies charged with protecting public health and clean water. Some of these State actors face criminal charges today. The Emergency Manager system, the Federal Environment Protection Agency, and Flint Department of Public Works were also called to task in the report.
The governor’s hear no evil, speak no evil, State of the Union address has human consequences: consequences that we will not accept.