Are schools that fail to teach children to read violating their constitutional rights? (podcast)

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The 14th Amendment has been used to secure civil rights for a multitude of groups. But does it give children a constitutional right to literacy? Is it the government’s responsibility to adequately fund schools, so students learn what they need to reach appropriate reading levels?

In This Podcast:

<p>Carter Phillips</p>

Carter Phillips

Carter G. Phillips is the chair of the executive committee of the law firm Sidley Austin. He has argued 84 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, nine of which he argued as an Assistant to the Solicitor General in the U.S. Department of Justice and 75 of which he argued while in private practice. He has also argued over 120 cases in U.S. courts of appeals, including at least one in every circuit, and more than 30 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. He is an adjunct professor at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, where he teaches a clinic on arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court.

In the Detroit public school system, it was recently found that only 7 percent of its 8th grade students were proficient in reading. So in 2016, a group of lawyers filed a federal civil rights claim against the city’s school system. In this episode of Asked and Answered, the ABA Journal’s Stephanie Francis Ward discusses the lawsuit with Carter Phillips, one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs.




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