December 5 | San Francisco Chronicle

By Bob Egelko

California has broken its promise to millions of schoolchildren with an education system that is failing to teach students to read or write, advocates charged Tuesday in a lawsuit seeking a statewide right of “access to literacy.”

The suit was filed on behalf of current and former elementary school students and their families in two districts in Los Angeles and Stockton, and a charter school in Los Angeles County. The lead plaintiff is a 7-year-old second-grader who can’t spell words like “need” and “help,” lawyers said.

They said students in one charter school class couldn’t read their social studies lesson and had to listen to an audio version. Some Stockton students “start crying when asked to read out loud in class,” the lawsuit said. And one student said his brother didn’t learn to read until he was held in juvenile hall at age 16.

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