Poor showing on reading tests "sad and sobering"
| Aug 02, 2010
In March, the results of a national assessment revealed that Wisconsin's black fourth-graders tested more poorly in reading than black children in any other part of the country. It was an outrage, Howard Fuller, former Milwaukee Public Schools superintendent and voucher school advocate, said on the day the scores were released. And so he left work that day at Marquette University and decided to do something about it.
Four months later, Fuller has mobilized a community group to research, analyze and discuss the best ways to teach reading. That group has been lobbying the state and city schools with its concerns. And he's created the Milwaukee Summer Reading Project, a five-week summer reading program for elementary school children that will conclude at the end of this week.
"It's sad and sobering to see what we're finding out," Fuller said. "We're seeing kids going into the third grade who don't know how to hold a pencil, who don't know how to read from left to right. But we're also finding out that with a lot of these kids, when you put them in the right environment and there's an excitement and intensity to learning, they can make significant gains." The Milwaukee Summer Reading Project has used a research-based curriculum to reach 87 children this summer. Read more about it in The Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel online.