Madison – The Department of Public Instruction’s 2020-21 School Report Cards show the need for reforming education. Fewer state schools are meeting or exceeding expectations in the latest round of testing. The Chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Senator Alberta Darling, says slipping isn’t surprising after kids were kept out of schools, but there must be major changes in how children are taught in Wisconsin.
“We knew kids were struggling during the pandemic, these tests just confirm that,” Darling said, “Instead of offering solutions, Governor Evers is vetoing real reforms that will help kids.”
On a Friday afternoon, Governor Evers vetoed. Senate Bill 454 was introduced by Senator Kathy Bernier of Chippewa Falls and co-authored by Senator Darling. The bill will screen schoolchildren on their reading abilities earlier and more often, notify parents of concerns, and create a clear direction to get kids back on track to succeed. The bill is based on successful models in other states, including Mississippi, which dramatically increased reading levels after passing similar legislation. Spotting reading problems sooner dramatically increases the chance that a child will succeed in school and life.
“The report cards are not a punishment but rather a snapshot in time and show the real need for reform in Wisconsin. It’s clear that Governor Evers doesn’t have any real solutions and continues to fall back on the status quo.” Darling said, “Wisconsin schools are receiving historic levels of funding. What they need now is real leadership and not roadblocks to reform from the Governor.”
Senator Darling represents portions of Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington, and Waukesha Counties.