My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results

Wiseye @ 24 September WisPolitics Lunch:

Jim Zellmer:

Thank you for your service Governor Evers.

Under your leadership, the Wisconsin d.p.i. granted Mulligan’s to thousands of elementary teachers who couldn’t pass a reading exam (that’s the “Foundations of Reading” elementary teacher reading content knowledge exam), yet our students lag Alabama, a state that spends less and has fewer teachers per students.

What message are we sending to parents, citizens, taxpayers and those students (who lack proficiency).

Governor Evers: I’m not sure how many mulligans we issued but they are all mulligans that the local school districts are asking for because there are people that generally speaking were people that worked in those schools while they are trying to pass that test they are very close to getting there hitting the mark there.

So I believe that the mulligans that we did issue were were the right thing to do.

The other thing that concerned me and I supported putting that piece in place around passing that test and I still do but the data that concerned me was that the test may have been biased and that it was probably.


Yes disproportionate number of people of color were not passing that test and this I know the state of Massachusetts had that problem and the state of Wisconsin had that problem. so given that there were we were and I can honestly say I don’t know what came out of the study but we are working with Massachusetts to take a look at that issue and see how how we can correct it.

2005: When all third graders read at grade level or beyond by the end of the year, the achievement gap will be closed…and not before.

2009: “An emphasis on adult employment”.

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?

2010: WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

2011: A Capitol Conversation on our disastrous reading results.

The followup legislation lead to the MTEL based Foundations of Reading: an elementary reading teacher content knowledge examination.

Subsequently undermined:

The Wisconsin Department of Public instruction, long lead by our new Governor, Tony Evers, has waived thousands of elementary teacher reading content knowledge requirements (Foundations of Reading, based on Massachusetts’ best in the States MTEL requirement)

Alan Borsuk on MTEL and our disastrous reading results.

“the majority of ALL 11th-grade students in Madison read and write below basic proficiency. Translated: they are functionally illiterate.

“The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”.

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Booked, but can’t read (Madison): functional literacy, National citizenship and the new face of Dred Scott in the age of mass incarceration.

2021: Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

More on our long term, disastrous reading results, here.

Interestingly, a number of local and state media folks attended this event, but I’ve seen no coverage of this vital question.

“an emphasis on adult employment”.

Evers signs record number of executive orders in first year