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Lagging and Uneven Student Performance

All Students
Only 8% of Wisconsin 4th graders scored in the advanced category on the reading portion of the 2007 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Fully 65% of Wisconsin students score below the proficient level, and 30% do not achieve even at the basic level.

African American Students
We have the lowest scores in the nation for African American students, and the second largest gap between white and black, behind only Washington D.C.

Low Income Students
Just as disturbing, we have a huge drop-off in performance for children who qualify for free/reduced lunch.

Students with Disabilities
We are failing students with neurological reading disabilities (RD) such as dyslexia. Despite solid research demonstrating the specific hallmarks of RD, ways to screen for risk factors, proven intervention methods, and an agreement on the importance of early intervention, little of value is being done for these students.

  • 20 % (1 in 5) of people have some degree of RD 
  • ~12,000 new students with RD enter Wisconsin schools each year
  • 74% of struggling 1st grade readers will still be non-proficient in 9th grade without appropriate intervention; RD does not go away with time

Lost Individual Potential and Societal Costs

Low State Standards
Inadequate Teacher Training
Weak Teacher Licensure Examination
Lack of Awareness, Expertise, and Action