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December 15, 2012

Madison School District's Elementary Literacy Program

Madison Superintendent Jane Belmore (2.5MB PDF):

For the past four years, MMSD has been aware that the current implementation of balanced literacy, our core instructional program for literacy at the elementary level, has not resulted in all students making the progress necessary to meet grade level standards. The research shows that three key things are necessary for students to gain proficiency in the common core standards:
  • a highly qualified teacher in the classroom
  • a strong instructional leader in the school and
  • access to an aligned, guaranteed and viable curriculum (Marzano, 2003).
It is clear that MMSD has two out of these three in place: highly qualified teachers and strong instructional leaders. To maintain and develop strong teachers and leaders need well planned, embedded, ongoing professional development. The
School Support Team and Instructional Research Teachers provide us the mechanism for delivering this necessary professional development.

What is needed is a decision about a guaranteed, viable core instructional curriculum that is cohesive across all 32 elementary schools. All student will benefit from consistency across grades levels and schools. Our students from mobile families must have the security and consistency that this core will provide.

60% to 42%: Madison School District's Reading Recovery Effectiveness Lags "National Average": Administration seeks to continue its use.

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.

Posted by Jim Zellmer at December 15, 2012 1:35 AM
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