Michigan: Congratulations, Gov. Snyder...you've made Betsy DeVos' dreams come true.
I want to be clear about something: Much of my data analysis has a bit of snark to it, adding an acrid tinge of dark humor to healthcare, a topic which is often fraught with pain, suffering, grief and sadness. Once in awhile I take pause before twisting the sarcasm knife too much.
This is one of those moments. I'm therefore limiting the snark to the headline only.
Three Januarys ago, Gov. Rick Snyder described a River of Opportunity all Michiganders could enter as long as the state improved third-grade reading proficiency.
“One of the important metrics in someone’s life on the River of Opportunity is the ability to be proficient-reading by third grade,” he said in January 2015. “How have we done? We were at 63% in 2010, and we are at 70% today. … But 70% doesn’t cut it.”
Snyder and his administration didn’t cut it either, apparently ignoring the reading mission the same way they ignored the Flint water crisis: Third-grade reading proficiency in Flint, where Snyder allowed the water — and children — to be poisoned by lead, dropped from 41.8% in 2013, the first year of the poisoning, to 10.7% last year.
That’s a nearly three-quarters drop.
Read it again: That’s nearly a three-quarters drop in third-grade reading proficiency among children whose lives were affected by lead poisoned water during the Flint water crisis.
“We’re in crisis mode,” said Flint school board vice president Harold Woodson.
...Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha and others who have worked with the children for years are helping to lead a massive public-private effort, funded by the city’s community foundation and aided by Mott Community College, to change the future for children up to age 5 for the foreseeable future.
But in Flint — where they just created a registry last week to keep up with and assess damage to children poisoned by the water and where pipe replacement is still not complete four years after the first complaints of brown water and rashes — no one has been really monitoring the development and well-being of the poisoned children.
As I've said many times, somebody ought to go to jail for all the things that have been done to the Flint children. The governor's spokesman declined to return a phone call and text Monday.