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April 25, 2010

Time for a Wisconsin Reading War....

Alan Borsuk:

Start the war.

What about Wisconsin? Wisconsin kids overall came in at the U.S. average on the NAEP scores. But Wisconsin's position has been slipping. Many other states have higher overall scores and improving scores, while Wisconsin scores have stayed flat.

Steven Dykstra of the Wisconsin Reading Coalition, an organization that advocates for phonics programs, points out something that should give us pause: If you break down the new fourth-grade reading data by race and ethnic grouping, as well as by economic standing (kids who get free or reduced price meals and kids who don't), Wisconsin kids trail the nation in every category. The differences are not significant in some, but even white students from Wisconsin score below the national average for white children.

(So how does Wisconsin overall still tie the national average? To be candid, the answer is because Wisconsin has a higher percentage of white students, the group that scores the highest, than many other states.)

Start the war.

Related: Reading Recovery, Madison School Board member suggests cuts to Reading Recovery spending, UW-Madison Professor Mark Seidenberg on the Madison School District's distortion of reading data & phonics and Norm and Dolores Mishelow Presentation on Milwaukee's Successful Reading Program.

Posted by Jim Zellmer at April 25, 2010 7:29 AM
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