Republicans Bring New Strategy to Wisconsin Reading Readiness Proposal

by Benjamin Yount


The latest reading readiness proposal at the Wisconsin capitol, with the backing of the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) in tow, may have a chance at becoming law.

State Rep. Scott Allen, R-Waukesha, and State Sen. Romaine Quinn, R-Cameron, on Friday introduced their plan for students having trouble reading. It builds on a 12-year-old law assessing reading readiness of 4K through second grade students.

The change, according to a release, is “Any student identified as needing reading intervention would then be provided with additional help. That original act did not have any requirement for the assessment data to be shared with the Department of Public Instruction or the Legislature.”

Allen described reading as fundamental to all other learning.

“The Legislature needs access to data in order to make effective policy and funding decisions for early reading intervention,” he said.

His proposal would have all schools, both public and private, create a report each year for the state’s Department of Public Instruction about “the number of pupils at risk of reading difficulty.” Those reports would be due to DPI by the first of the year.

This plan is different from the proposal last spring that Democratic Gov. Tony Evers vetoed.

In his rejection then, Evers said, “I object to fundamentally overhauling Wisconsin literacy instruction and intervention without evidence that more statewide, mandatory testing is the best approach for our students, and without providing the funding needed for implementation.”

The Education Department is on board now, Allen said.

“Helping kids succeed in reading is a common value that we share,” Allen said.

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Benjamin Yount is a regular contributor to The Center Square.
Photo “Scott Allen” by Rep. Scott Allen. Photo “Romaine Quinn” by Romaine Robert Quinn for State Senate. Background Photo “Classroom” by Wokandapix.


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