Mississippi got a lot of attention when the NAEP scores were released. It was the only state where fourth grade reading scores improved. Mississippi is implementing a strong requirement that teachers be well-trained in reading instruction. Massachusetts did that in the 1990s and it paid off in the following decade.
Wisconsin passed a law in 2012 to promote better teaching of reading and it hasn’t paid off. Advocates suggest that is because the law hasn’t been taken seriously enough by the state and by college-level teacher training programs. Maybe it’s time to take a fresh look.
The Wisconsin Department of Public instruction, long lead by our new Governor, Tony Evers, has waived thousands of elementary teacher reading content knowledge requirements (Foundations of Reading, based on Massachusetts’ best in the States MTEL requirement).