At the Madison Metropolitan School District, we believe in the bright futures of all of our students. We are committed to meeting their needs and we are placing a specific emphasis on the achievement of African-American children and youth in our schools within Goal #3 of our Strategic Framework.
There are many pieces that are essential to learning in order to close gaps in opportunity caused by a history of bias and racism - educational standards, content, curriculum and equitable instruction. This includes curriculum that must be historically accurate, inclusive and culturally relevant. We must continually review our practices to ensure effectiveness, and our teachers need standards-aligned, high-quality tools and resources to do their best planning for instruction that leads to deeper learning.
In June 2019, the Madison School Board approved the Quality Materials grant, awarded by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. We now have the opportunity to begin the process to adopt a new K-5 literacy program. We will use the awarded funds to:
- Engage with students, families, staff and the community about their hopes for our new elementary literacy program (empathy groups)
- Research programs that are highly rated to inform the proposal process
- Use a localized criterion to vet materials that are highly rated for standards alignment, text quality and teacher usability
- Implement structured phonics lessons from a highly rated program as a field study in five K classrooms within the district to inform the implementation plan for the newly adopted materials
Our podcast series for current literacy topics is underway!
This episode features staff from the Department of Public Instruction and addresses why high-quality materials are an important piece in providing equitable access and instruction to all students across the district. We'll cover the awarded grant funds from MMSD and how we are engaged in a process for the K-5 reading materials adoption. Join us as we discuss the current literacy conversation across the state and the importance of this work for the future of MMSD.
What happens next?
We’ve created a plan we believe will guide us through the process in the most efficient way and lead us to the best literacy program for our students.
Our efforts to adopt a new literacy program is an intentional strategy to align standards, content, curriculum and equitable instructional practices that are necessary to ensure all our students thrive.
Resources to Inform the Process:
Research Informing Our Work:
- The DRIVE Model of Reading (Duke)
- Scarborough’s Reading Rope, “The Simple View of Reading” (this is what the “science of reading” is grounded in)
- Appendix A CCSS
- Theory and Embedded Practices from the Literacy Essentials from Michigan- K to 3 and 4 to 5 practices; Nell Duke (YouTube Video)
- David Liben (YouTube Video)
- Zarretta Hammond