Underly: “I support Eliminating the Foundations of Reading (FORT)” Teacher Test

Transcript [Machine Generated PDF]:

Deborah Kerr: [00:43:53] Um, whose turn is it to go first? Okay. That’s fine. Yeah, we’re pretty good at figuring this out. Um, [00:44:00] so that’s one thing we can do. Um, yes, I support the FORT. I fo I support the Praxis test. So you gotta think about something. Why do these things cause barriers and prevent people from getting certified? And so as a superintendent, I’ve always had to help aspiring teachers who, who needed to either pass the Praxis test or get more additional training on the FORT.

[00:44:23] And so. This starts with the teacher preparation programs. Okay. We need to start talking about, um, these kinds of tests earlier on in the scope and sequence of the coursework and making sure that our teachers are immersed in these kinds of situations that will help allow them to do better. These are standards for making sure that we have the highest quality teachers in the classroom.

[00:44:46] So what I did in Brown deer is I had a couple of teachers who needed to pass the fork test. Um, the problem with that is when you take the fourth test and you fail it, you have to pay again. You don’t just take the part that you didn’t pass. [00:45:00] And so I believe we need to work on that, but also I made sure our reading specialists help to tutor.

[00:45:06] Those two teachers that needed extra support because they didn’t get it for whatever reason at the university level. So I do believe that we have to have standards. We want the best and the brightest into our classroom, but sometimes just like students, they need a different approach and they need more time.
[00:45:23] Thank you.

[00:45:27] Jill Underly: All right. Um, as far as the Foundations of Reading (FORT) test is concerned, I would support eliminating it. And I’ll tell you why. I believe it’s an unnecessary hoop. Um, it makes it difficult and much harder for people to become teachers, particularly when we are already struggling. Right. With recruiting and retaining teachers.

[00:45:45] Um, we need to trust our education preparation programs to prepare the kids. I mean, these programs are certified by the department of public instruction. Um, they have to go through a rigorous certification process to be officially, you know, To be able to [00:46:00] officially endorse teachers to get their licenses.

[00:46:02] Um, I do know that representative Travis Tranel who’s from my area of Southwest Wisconsin, was successful in getting the legislature to suspend, um, the foundations of reading tests for special education teachers. And I think that says a lot, you know, these are barriers. And we need to eliminate barriers, um, for good people, um, who are intelligent and kind and compassionate to become teachers.

[00:46:26] Um, you can still be a good teacher and you could still be a good teacher of reading. Um, if you can’t pass a standardized test, so I would be in favor of eliminating it. Thanks.

mp3 Audio.

While working for the DPI in Madison, Ms. Underly sent her children to a private school.

The Foundations of Reading, [SIS links] Wisconsin’s one elementary reading teacher content knowledge requirement is (was) an attempt to improve our K-12 students’ disastrous reading results.

The foundations of reading is Wisconsin’s only teacher content knowledge requirement. It is based on Massachusetts’ successful MTEL program.

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

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

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

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Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

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