“The problem was we could not get the teachers to commit to the coaching.”
Since their small success, not much has changed in the district’s overall results for teaching young students how to read. Ladson-Billings called the ongoing struggles “frustrating,” citing an inability to distinguish between what’s important and what’s a priority in the district.
“The superintendents have been so bogged down with stuff like the (school resource officers), too many fights at Cherokee — whatever’s made the newspaper has been where all the energy has gone,” she said. “The assumption was that the people in the classroom knew exactly what they were doing, and we don’t need to be on top of that.”
“So much of what we talk about in Madison in terms of disparities stems from the crisis of literacy that we have,” Kramer said. “When students don’t read at grade level, they are much more likely to become disengaged at school. If they get to middle school and they’re reading below grade level, it’s so easy to become disengaged, to be discouraged.”
“It’s easy to pay lip service to a fundamental change like shifting toward research-backed literacy methods, but Dr. Jenkins is doing much more than paying lip service as near as we can tell,” he said. “This feels real, it doesn’t feel like Madison’s usual talking about it and forming a task force and having a series of meetings and producing a report. We’ve had decades of that kind of inaction.”
Yet, deja vu all around Madison’s long term, disastrous reading results.
2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’sRemarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results