Reading is a foundational skill on which other learning is built, and proficiency is critical as students progress through our preK-12 system. In 2018-19, 35% of Madison School District third-graders were proficient or advanced in reading with large disparities by race and income. We must do better, and urgent action is needed. What does that action look like?
Right now, action is two referendum questions on the November ballot. The facilities referendum will provide updated, 21st-century learning environments. The operating referendum will help us attract and retain a high-quality, diverse workforce and will allow us to implement multiple strategic equity initiatives. This includes expanding on work already underway to select a new, culturally relevant reading curriculum. Grounding this work in the science of reading and effective reading instruction has the potential to transform our reading outcomes. With our staff of dedicated teaching professionals led by new Superintendent Carlton Jenkins, now is the time to further invest in strategies to effectively teach reading.
These referendums in support of our public schools will provide stability despite unpredictable state and federal education funding and the significant costs of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please join me in voting “yes” on the Madison School District referendum questions to invest in the academic success of Madison’s students.