So far, this has been the summer of education task forces in Wisconsin.
There’s one addressing school accountability, another tackling how to help school districts implement new academic standards and a third devoted to improving third-grade reading proficiency. That doesn’t even count other groups already in existence that are looking at reforming statewide tests or increasing teacher effectiveness.
“There’s so many work groups and task forces operating right now, it’s hard to keep track of them,” said state Rep. Steve Kestell (R-Elkhart Lake), chairman of the Assembly Education Committee and a member of some of those task forces.
Keeping all of the task forces on track may also prove difficult.
Earlier this month, a member of the group charged with helping school districts implement new reading standards sent an open letter to members of the governor’s Read to Lead Task Force expressing concerns about the approach that the state Department of Public Instruction was taking in developing a model reading curriculum. That letter was followed by another that recommended specific approaches that the task force should take. Dan Gustafson, a Madison-based pediatric neuropsychologist, said he wrote the letters because he was concerned that the DPI was moving ahead with a model reading curriculum without input from differing viewpoints on reading instruction.