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Madison Metropolitan School District


A students eyes peaking above a book
student looking at a book in the library
A teacher reading to students
A teacher reading to students listening
A studetn reading to a teacher

We are excited to support you and your child with gaining meaningful literacy experiences inside and outside of school.

Learning to read for understanding requires sounding out and recognizing words—decoding—but it also requires making meaning of the words and sentences we hear—language comprehension. Research in the Science of Reading is clear about what matters to teach in early literacy instruction: phonological awareness, phonics and word recognition, fluency, vocabulary and oral language comprehension, and text comprehension.

The science of reading is a vast, interdisciplinary body of scientifically-based research about reading and issues related to reading and writing. To learn more about the Evidence-Based Reading Strategies as it relates to 2023 Wisconsin Act 20, click here.

Childrens blocks spelling the word READ

“This rigorous curriculum integrates the experiences of our diverse communities in meaningful and innovative ways. We are excited about this unprecedented level of investment in curriculum for our school district - the largest commitment to literacy in over a decade - and for its potential to pay tremendous dividends for our future generations of scholars.”
— Cynthia Green, MMSD Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning

A students smiling while listening to instruction

What is the Science of Reading?

The science of reading is the converging evidence of what matters and what works in literacy instruction, organized around models that describe how and why. An important model in early reading research that Reading Comprehension (RC) is the product of Decoding (D) and Language Comprehension (LC), or RC = D x LC.

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Three sudents picking out books in the library

Early Literacy and Beyond Task Force

MMSD and the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education formed a joint task force focused on analyzing the most promising approaches to teaching reading and utilizing literacy — at every level — as an equity strategy to ensure all MMSD students receive high-quality, grade level accelerated instruction.

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A return to phonics


The science of reading has finally returned to Madison public schools after years of parents, teachers and advocates calling on the district to change its approach to literacy.

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