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Greendale schools purposefully chosen as venue for state literacy program announcement

Jan. 4, 2012

Gov. Scott Walker this morning unveiled a new statewide literacy program, Read to Lead, at Greendale's Highland View Elementary School because it is "a great school district that excels."

At a news conference in the school's library, Walker noted that, according to the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress, Wisconsin's progress in reading achievement is stagnant at best. The Greendale School District, meanwhile, boasts that 89.2 percent of its 10th-graders ranked as proficient or advanced in reading, as measured by the Wisconsin Knowledge Concepts Examination.

Walker said students who are not proficient early are four times more likely not to graduate from high school. When poverty is factored in, the odds are greater, with students 13 times more likely not to complete school.

For that reason, he convened a bipartisan task force in spring whose recommendations include early literacy screenings, aggressive professional development for teachers, and accountability standards to measure Read to Lead's outcome.

No specific funding source for the program has been identified, although there are grant dollars - about $600,000 - for the universal literacy screenings. As far as oversight of the program, Walker said the Department of Public Instruction and the Department of Children and Families will likely coordinate its various elements.

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