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WI Education Chair: DPI’s Test Results are Shocking, Students Deserve Better

The Wisconsin Department of Education released the statewide test scores for the 2018-19 school year, the 4th consecutive year of using the Forward exam. Test scores, while not a complete picture of a student’s learning, do serve as a guide in achievement, reading, math and basic education fundamentals. The results can be broken down into individual districts, schools and varying societal demographics. State Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac,) Chair of the Assembly Education Committee, released the following statement regarding the newly announced test scores:

“Wisconsin’s overall test scores are headed in the wrong direction, and of major concern is the downward trend in reading scores, the core of educational attainment. The Legislature has dedicated increasing amounts of funding toward K-12 education every year since 2011, and yet 60% of Wisconsin students cannot read or write at grade level. In some demographics I examined, reading scores have decreased by over ten percentage points in the last 4 years. This downward trend of reading proficiency in our state must stop.”

“It is time to abandon the failed reading methods being taught to our future teachers in some of our colleges of education. The consistent failures of the “whole language” reading approach, no matter how it is packaged, make it clear the necessary re-direction of our state. A return to the historical, science-based basics of reading instruction will reverse the current downward trend. We must emulate the methods of those schools that are effectively employing reading instruction. I encourage Wisconsin parents to study the data and use the educational choices available to them to find schools that will teach our youngsters to read using scientifically proven methods.”