We can improve children’s literacy through authentic family engagement, not increased assessment
To create students who stay curious and inquisitive throughout their lives – active participants in democracy, critical consumers of information, creative contributors to our communities – we need to ensure our students are literate. When it comes to literacy in Wisconsin, I know we have a distance to go. And yet that distance also represents a great opportunity for our state: the opportunity to build on the rich literacy practices we find in every family, culture, and community that make up this great state and, in doing so, create equitable and sustainable systems to continue that valuable work.
We do this by centering authentic family engagement rather than focusing on parental notification concerning assessment results. Rich family engagement revolves around communication, but only if it is a collaborative process, not a one-way street. We do this by using assessments to gather purposeful evidence that can inform and improve universal instruction. I appreciate that our legislature recognizes the need to concentrate on literacy, but we must remember that increased assessment is not the end goal; improved reading is the end goal, and to achieve that, we need to focus our resources on what we know works. We do this by ensuring our educators have the support they need to engage families, interpret assessments, and implement meaningful instruction and interventions.
2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results
My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our 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.