In September, 2013, Governor Scott Walker issued a statement calling for Wisconsin to have its own unique standards which would be more rigorous that the CCSS, and State Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt and Sen. Paul Farrow held four information-gathering hearings. No specifics have been given as to which standards need strengthening, who would draft those new standards, and whether that would occur under the umbrella of the CCSS (states are allowed to supplement the CCSS with 15% of their own standards) or in a completely separate process.
State Superintendent Tony Evers adopted the Common Core State Standards in 2010 to replace the inadequate Wisconsin Model Academic Standards. In the area of foundational reading, there is no question that the CCSS are vastly superior to our previous standards. Wisconsin was fortunate to have the collaboration of reading experts from other states in developing the CCSS. See WRC comment on the CCSS, WRC paper on standards, and WRC standards comparison from 2010 for details.
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS
NEW: In 2016 and at the beginning of 2017, citing teacher shortages, DPI-convened committees recommended statutory changes allowing teachers to be licensed even if they have not passed the Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Test. Take Action: contact your legislators to say this is a bad idea for teachers and their future students.
Scroll down for information on the Common Core State Standards, Wisconsin NAEP Results, the Wisconsin Foundations of Reading Test, Action at the Department of Public Instruction, Initiatives In Wisconsin and Across the County, News on Milwaukee Public Schools, the 2011 Read to Lead Blue Ribbon Task Force, and 2012 Act 166
Senate and Assembly education committee chairs Luther Olsen and Steve Kestell have not supported this challenge to the CCSS.
In July, 2014, Governor Walker called for the legislature to repeal the Common Core in January, 2015. However, support for this position seemed to erode. A poll by the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute in January, 2015, showed that 62% of Wisconsinites support Common Core. The Governor's statements switched in January to clarifying for school districts that they do not need to use the Common Core if they want to adopt different standards.
NOTE: The data in these documents reflects Wisconsin's performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. There is always a tendency to think, "But my school is much better. We met or exceeded expectations on the Wisconsin school report card."
TAKE ACTION: We encourage you to look at your school and district testing results. It is possible for schools to receive a "meets expectations" or "exceeds expectations" rating on the Wisconsin School Report Card while far fewer than half of their students can read proficiently. Decide whether this level of performance meets your expectations. This is data you can use for objective discussions with your school or district.
Wisconsin 2013 NAEP Reading Report Card
Wisconsin's 2011 NAEP Scores Again Disappointing
2009 NAEP Scores Show Drop in 4th Grade Reading in Wisconsin
2011 NAEP Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) Results Show Milwaukee is Still Near the Bottom
WISCONSIN FOUNDATIONS OF READING TEST
Read about the implementation of universal reading screening in Wisconsin
Read concerns on the proposed Wisconsin school accountability report card and how it reports student growth and scores of subgroups of students. Report cards for specific districts are available at http://dpi.wi.gov/reportcards/districts.html
Open Letter to the Read to Lead task force addresses critical issues in Wisconsin
DPI issues RTI Guidelines and three documents on the RTI/SLD Relationship
The Wisconsin RTI Center has released the results of a Universal Reading Screening Survey. Click on the links to see a summary of the "top tools" schools are using across the state, and an Excel file with names of schools and individuals who are willing to share their contact information. Also on the RTI Center site, you can find RTI Center rubrics for selecting screening tools, interventions, and progress-monitoring tools.
INITIATIVES HERE AND ACROSS THE NATION
The ACLU has filed a civil rights action (August, 2012) on behalf of Highland Park, Michigan students who have not been taught to read proficiently. Michigan law provides that "Excluding special education pupils, pupils having a learning
disability, and pupils with extenuating circumstances as determined by
school officials, a pupil who does not score satisfactorily on the 4th
or 7th grade [MEAP] reading test shall be provided special assistance
reasonably expected to enable the pupil to bring his or her reading
skills to grade level within 12 months." [MCL 380.1278(8).]
A Minnesota court has ordered the Minnesota State Colleges and University system to hand over syllabi from education school courses to the National Council on Teacher Quality. The NCTQ had requested the syllabi for a comprehensive national study of teacher preparation programs, and Minnesota had refused on the grounds that these documents are the intellectual property of the professors. The court found that releasing the documents did not negatively impact intellectual property rights, and that the intended use for research falls under the fair use doctrine of the federal copyright law. A similar court case is pending in Wisconsin. Read NCTQ comment.
The Greater Milwaukee Foundation
announced on November 16, 2011 that the first goal of its Milwaukee Succeeds initiative
will be to improve third grade reading performance. The Helen Bader
Foundation has contributed $300,000 over three years toward this effort.
ACLU files "right to read" class action in Michigan. Read commentary in the Washington Post and Christian Science Monitor
The Education Commission of the United States has an online update on state reading and literacy policies enacted since 2000, arranged chronologically working backward from recent adoptions.
Minnesota passes new reading reforms
Giving More Power to the State Superintendent